by LINDA FRABL | photos by Samantha Gleaton Photography

Causing a Reaction

student_ling1Emma Ling, a Carlsbad senior at La Costa Canyon, has such an amazing number of achievements in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields (STEM), that she has already been accepted into Harvard University through its Early Action program. Though excited by the news, Emma professed, “It’s not binding, so I’m not committed to going there yet.” No matter which college she chooses, Emma is confident of her future potential to do whatever she sets her mind to.

No stranger to college campuses, two summers ago Emma worked in an organic chemistry lab at USD alongside her AP Chemistry teacher, Mr. Emmerson, and a USD professor, Dr. Clark. Emma admitted, “It was pretty grueling, commuting on the Coaster and taking the bus down to USD and back every day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., but the lab work was awesome! I learned how to run reactions in a glove box and interpret results from an MRI-like machine. I even made it onto Dr. Clark’s research paper!”

Name: Emma Ling
Age: 17
School: La Costa Canyon
Grade: 12
Favorite Spot: The beach!

student_ling3That same summer before her junior year, Emma spoke at the U.S. News STEM Solutions National Leadership Conference, discussing her positive experiences with STEM education. She will once again give a speech, this time at the 2016 Oncofertility Conference at Northwestern University. Emma will share her research from when she participated in the Oncofertility Science Academy this last summer, where she studied the effects of embryo biopsy entailed in preimplantation genetic screening, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis on the physical and neurological development of children.

At school, Emma is the president of the O2 for Life club, encouraging environmental awareness by organizing such events as beach and trail cleanups. Emma is also in the chemistry club and looks forward to planning its upcoming Science Extravaganza chemistry show for all ages. In addition, Emma loves swimming and is on the varsity swim team.

Recently, Emma co-led a group of 15 high school girls who engineered an experiment to go onto the orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft. Launched on December 6, the spacecraft took their experiment to the International Space Station. The girls had attempted the same feat for the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch last June, but that experiment unfortunately exploded while in flight! Never one to be discouraged, Emma has proven she can still cause a reaction that is out of this world.