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Soap assignment leads to passion project

Students posing at soap counter

High school boys are not typically excited about soap.

But there’s a group of boys at the STEM Academy at Legacy of Educational Excellence (LEE) High School that are absolutely passionate about the stuff. 

“This has been a lot of fun for me personally because I have actually become incredibly interested in it,” said sophomore Kyle Robertson. “The only thing that has rivaled this project was the rocket building we did in middle school STEM.”

This semester, STEM students were tasked with creating soap from scratch. It would require knowledge of chemistry, engineering and math. So the students researched how to make soap, created 3d molds to shape it, and figured out the most cost-efficient materials.

“It’s really been a lot of fun,” said sophomore Jesus Cruz.

What started as an assignment has become a passion project for Kyle Robertson, Jack Watson, Chris Ochoa, Jesus Cruz and Esteban Balboa. It turns out that while high school boys aren’t exactly excited about soap, they are often excited about food. 

That was quickly obvious during their brainstorming sessions. 

They thought up butter soap -- a soap that would be made in the consistency of butter. 

Edible soap -- that idea died pretty quickly. 

And Pancake soap -- soap that looked and smelled like pancakes!

But all those misses led them to some winners. And Breakfast Bar Soap Company was born.

“Our research showed us that smell drives hunger,” said Robertson. “So, we started thinking of different breakfast items we wanted to make into soap.”

While they were excited about the direction, they had to figure out who would buy their soap. It didn’t take them long to discover their perfect customer.

“Hotels have breakfast, and hotels often have their own soap smells,” said Cruz. “We could give their guests a unique experience and also increase people going for their breakfasts.”

Breakfast Bar Soap Co. has created soaps that smell like fruity cereal, coffee, cinnamon rolls and other breakfast favorites. And despite turning in the project, these young men have decided they aren’t done with it yet. Instead, they will continue to research, run the numbers and figure out the best and most profitable ways to make soap for the masses, hoping to turn this school project into a lucrative business.

“I am super proud of these guys,” said STEM Director Jennifer Jensen. “They really have a marketing plan -- how they all came together to work together as a team -- it’s inspiring. This is what we strive for to empower our students to be successful. Not only while you are in the classroom, but when they leave this place—giving them tools and equipping them to make an impact on the world.”

This is what hands-on learning looks like #theNEISDway.

Evan Henson
posted on: 05/30/2023