Frost Roadways and Revelations

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Frost Roadways and Revelations

Frost Roadways and Revelations

Former Frost student wins America’s Top Young Scientist for cancer treating soap

Heman Bekele, a FCPS student who won Americas Top Young Scientist for making cancer treating soap.
Heman Bekele, a FCPS student who won America’s Top Young Scientist for making cancer treating soap.

Heman Bekele, age 14, won the 2023 America’s Top Young Scientist Competition for creating an inexpensive treatment for skin cancer. Heman went to Frost Middle School and is currently attending Woodson High School, in FCPS. 

Heman came up with the idea of skin cancer treating soap about a year and a half ago and took it from there. He worked with professors at UVA to research the project and did lots of digital molecular testing and secondary data analysis to test the soap.

He got the idea from the country of Ethiopia, where he was born. He saw that many people were affected by skin cancer, since they worked in the hot sun for many hours with almost no protection. However, skin cancer treatment is super expensive.

Heman said, “My main thought process was to create a bar of soap that not only treated forms of skin cancer- but was also an affordable and accessible alternative to modern day skin cancer treatment.”

The easiest part for Heman was doing the initial brain dump because he found it super fun and simple and he liked thinking of different ways he could make an impact on the world. The hardest part was to get a good structural composition for the soap.

He did a lot of analyzing and and studying to get the research and data needed to develop the soap. After he had created the soap, he needed to test it. Heman did this by having 3 tiers of testing. They were Digital Molecular Testing, Secondary Data Analysis, and hands-on testing. These three results tested the best and had the highest levels of success. He was assisted by UVA professors while doing this testing.

“It was surreal- I’m still fully taking it in. It was incredible to see that all those months of hard work paid off and the moment has really motivated me to continue working on this project,” commented Heman, describing the moment where he found out he won.

The patent for the soap is currently being completed. When asked if he could give advice to kids hoping to solve a problem in the world, Heman said, “Never give up- stay resilient and set high goals for yourself. Every win started with a dream.”

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About the Contributor
Arya D., Editor-In-Chief
Hi! I'm an 8th grader and this is my second year taking Journalism. I like writing about international news and cultural traditions. In my free time, I enjoy reading and playing outside.
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