A 14-year-old boy from Annandale, Virginia has won a coveted award within the world of science after inventing a soap that can help to treat cancer.
According to reports, Heman Beleke, a ninth-grader at W.T. Woodson High School, entered the 3M Young Scientist Challenge while still in middle school.
After advancing to the final of the contest, Heman beat off competition from nine others to take home the $25,000 grand prize, as well as distinction among those who consider themselves passionate about science.
Incredibly, it reportedly took this astute young man just eight months to come up with his award-winning soap and develop a basic prototype. Heman now says he wants to start a non-profit with the aim of raising money to ensure those who have need of his soap can get it.
Helman calls his idea M.T.S, or “melanoma treating soap”, and it’s made with a combination of salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and tretinoin.
Credit: Fairfax County School Board
“[They’re] all keratolytic agents that slowly reactivate dendritic cells,” Heman explained in his submission video for the 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
Dendritic cells are known to help protect the skin and boost immune responses when faced with invasive pathogens.
According to the Daily Mail, each bar of Heman’s soap costs just 50 cents to make, meaning it should be affordable to all those who might benefit from it, regardless of their economic situation.
Credit – YouTube/3M Young Scientist Challenge
Following his win, Heman told Fox News: “It’s so crazy, it’s so surreal to even think about it right now!
“The most difficult part was probably creating that first prototype.”
What’s more, the inspiring teenager revealed his plans for the future include becoming an electrical engineer.
“[I hope to be a] successful electrical engineer who has contributed significantly to the industry,” he explained.
“I envision myself leading a team of professionals in the development of innovative electrical systems that will shape the future of technology.”
Personally, I’m sure Herman will succeed in whatever field he chooses moving forward!