Open Thread | America’s Top Young Scientist

14-year-old who invented soap to treat skin cancer named America’s Top Young Scientist
Story by Sarah Al-Arshani, USA TODAY •

Heman Bekele, 14, is pictured in St. Paul, Minnesota in October 2023 after winning the Young Scientists Challenge for inventing soap to treat melanoma. With him is his mentor, Deborah Isabelle, a product engineering specialist at 3M.

“America’s Top Young Scientist” is a 14-year-old who invented a soap that treats skin cancer.

Heman Bekele, a ninth grader from Annandale, Virginia, won the prestigious award from 3M and Discovery Education, considered one of the country’s top middle school science competitions.

“I believe that young minds can make a positive impact on the world,” Heman said in his submission for the award.

“I have always been interested in biology and technology, and this challenge gave me the perfect platform to showcase my ideas,” he said.
Heman spent the past four months competing against nine other finalists to be named “America’s Top Young Scientist.” The competition was created to help student between the fifth and eighth grades create an innovative idea that to change their world.

In addition to the prestigious title, young scientists who win the award get a $25,000 cash prize.

Heman won this year’s grand prize at 3M’s headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Oct. 9 and 10, according to a news release announcing the award.

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6 Responses to Open Thread | America’s Top Young Scientist

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