by KELLY GUSICH | photos by Soul of Photography

Centered on Science

During his sophomore year at Canyon Crest Academy (CCA), Luke’s father was recovering from cancer, so together they took on a “getting better” project: an aquaponics system. Aquaponics is a method of farming combining aquaculture (raising of fish) with hydroponics (growing of plants in water), allowing the growth of food without chemicals and soil. “While building this system,” Luke shared, “I got to spend a lot of time with my dad, and he taught me about plumbing, electricity, and carpentry.”

student_lindgren3Luke has aimed to get an aquaponics system built on campus since his junior year. This year, he decided to run his own aquaponics club and he invited several of his friends, who also run their own clubs, to become officers. “We not only thought that the aquaponics system would be useful in teaching students about sustainability using tools and coding (we are automating the entire system), but also thought it would be a great tool to use in biology when we teach about ecosystems and the interconnectedness of our world.”

Since his freshman year Luke has also been a member of the Inventions Club, serving as an officer during his sophomore and junior years. “We hosted a middle school science fair competition for students in lower and middle-income areas,” he explained, “gave chemistry demonstrations to lower-income elementary schools, and maintained a tutoring resources website.” He has also represented CCA at the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, conducting a study demonstrating how an aquaponics grow wall can be used to mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect.

Luke ultimately wants to make contributions to the community with both his time and scientific knowledge.

Luke also volunteers as a docent at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve and on the Leadership Council for Teen Volunteers in Action (TVIA). “I got involved because I have a wide variety of interests, and TVIA works with a wide range of philanthropic organizations,” he shared. He is inspired by Elon Musk, James Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin. Not surprisingly, he’s thinking of possible majors in Biomedical Engineering or Neuroscience.

An internship opportunity this past summer at Qualcomm gave Luke the knowledge to develop a sensor network with data visualization and alerts for his aquaponics system. Luke ultimately wants to make contributions to the community with both his time and scientific knowledge.


Name: Luke Lindgren (17)
School: Canyon Crest Academy
Grade: 12
Parents: Dave and Debbie Lindgren
Sibling: Mark (15)
Favorite Places in 92067: Helen Woodward Animal Center, Rancho Santa Fe Bistro, Thyme in the Ranch