LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, which kicks off Monday.

Los Altos High School’s ninth annual Science and Technology Week is scheduled to begin Monday. Innovators will visit the campus to discuss careers in Silicon Valley’s high-tech fields with students.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Coroner Dr. Judy Melinek, author of “Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner” (Scribner, 2014), will serve as keynote speaker. Her presentation, which includes sales and signings of her book, is slated 7-9 p.m. Nov. 3 in Eagle Theater. Melinek’s discussion is free and open to the public.

Melinek trained in pathology at UCLA and worked as a forensic pathologist in the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office from 2001 to 2003. She has consulted and testified in criminal and civil cases across the country.

Qualified as an expert witness in forensic pathology, neuropathology and wound interpretation, Melinek underwent subspecialty training in surgery and has published and consulted on cases of medical malpractice and therapeutic complications. She trains doctors and attorneys on forensic pathology, proper death reporting and certification. She lectures at professional conferences on the topics of death certification, complications of therapy, forensic toxicology and in-custody deaths.

Objectives of Science and Technology Week – dedicated to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) – include: demonstrating the value of a math and science education to encourage students to take more math and science classes during high school; raising awareness of the variety of related career opportunities; highlighting the diverse backgrounds of current professionals; and inspiring students to think creatively and join the ranks of innovative thinkers for the next generation.

The speakers’ topics are designed to demonstrate how professionals overcame their own obstacles to pursue careers in the science field.

Speakers will share information on their current projects and describe how fundamental science affects their day-to-day work. They will explain how they prepared for their careers and how their own high school experiences influenced them to pursue science and technology beyond graduation.

Professionals scheduled to speak include representatives from Lockheed Martin, Google, Stanford University, Tesla, Foothill College and zSpace.

For a full schedule and more information, visit

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