6th annual “Ignite Opportunity” event introduces students to STEM career fields

SHASTA COUNTY — For the second year, Shasta County Coroner’s Office sent a team to the Shasta County Office of Education’s STEM Career Fair at Shasta Fairgrounds to meet with high school freshman from all over Northern California and introduce them to the highly specialized STEM career fields.

Originally founded by SCOE and the North State STEM Career Day Committee volunteers, and made possible by donations from community partners, the purpose of the 6th annual “Ignite Opportunity” one-day event was to excite students and prepare them to pursue career opportunities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math.


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At the Coroner’s booth this year, students from Trinity, Tehama, Siskiyou, Shasta, Plumas, Modoc, Lassen, Glenn, and Butte counties, had the opportunity to meet and speak with Shasta County Coroner Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Deirdre Amaro and intern Cole Torvick about forensic technology as it relates to coroner services.

Although “Morty the Morgue Dummy,” a training tool used by the Coroner’s Office, was not able to attend this year’s event, students in attendance were able to use a microscope, handle animal bones, and get familiar with various tools of the trade.

After the event Amaro said the Coroner’s Office was “very excited to, again, educate young minds and show them a career path that is not often sought.”

Regardless of their specific interests, during the event students enjoyed dynamic, engaging presentations from professionals working in STEM fields in the North State area; received real-world advice about STEM career paths and opportunities; and had direct access to and interaction with local professionals and college students; while participating in challenging STEM activities fostering collaboration and engineering practices.

High schools students can get first hand experience working in law enforcement by joining their school or District’s ROP program for Administration of Justice. College students can do so by volunteering or applying for internships, such as the Coroner’s Office’s Forensic Pathology Internship. These are just two examples of the ways to test career fields.

If you would like more information about the Shasta County Sheriff or Coroner Offices, visit shastasheriff.com. For more information about STEM activities, visit Shasta County Office of Education.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.

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