Lompoc District Food Service Manager Kathy Bertelsen assists a student who chose to demonstrate the quality of her school's scratch-cooked food.

Lompoc District Food Service Manager Kathy Bertelsen assisted a student who sought to demonstrate the nutritional – and flavor – advantages of her school’s scratch-cooked food.

by Dean Zatkowsky

The Lompoc High School Health and Wellness Career Academy hosted its second annual Medical Science Fair on Thursday, March 26 and I was honored to attend. Students presented fifty-five projects that included research on nutrition, health-related careers, biomedical problem solving, and physical fitness. According to Coordinator Jennifer Prye, “The main goal is to develop critical thinking as applied to the disease and “medicine” they choose to research. They also have to suggest an appropriate solution or intervention tool.”Here are a few photographic examples of the proud students and the fruits of their labor. Many thanks to Academy Coordinator Jennifer Prye for organizing event that I found both educational and inspirational.


This presentation on the effects of smoking attracted crowds throughout the day.



Healthy lungs. I’ll spare you a photo of the smoker’s lungs…



Visitors could check their blood pressure at this booth. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t possible when I was in high school.



Students took nothing for granted as they questioned the health impacts of everyday decisions.



Several booths offered delicious samples. It would have been rude to decline, right?



Coming from a long line of hypoglycemics, I can answer this question.



This was my favorite. I learned that throughout history, people have been trying to justify enjoying coffee, and now the science seems to back us up. Phew!



A fascinating exploration of the way our bodies metabolize common foods.



I had heard for years that cultures which enjoy spicy food tend to experience lower levels of heart disease. These students looked into the potential health benefits of Cayenne Pepper. Okay, points off for spelling…



As a middle-aged man who sits at a desk far more than I should, I believe everyone should know CPR. Kudos!

Dean Zatkowsky is Communications Manager for the Orfalea Foundation.