BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Ashton Fox, an 8th grader at Kenilworth Science and Technology School, may have trouble topping his 8th-grade year any time soon.
Fox has returned from the Netherlands where he was one of two students representing America in the International Environment Sustainability Project Olympiad.
The elongated title of the competition shows how much deep science is represented, I think. While all the students were 18-years and younger, Ashton was one of the youngest to compete.
Standing for a photo wrapped in the US flag, and holding the entire competition's bronze medal, Fox follows in the footsteps of another Kenilworth School phenom,
Jalen Scott, who was big award winner last year in the Golden Climate International Environmental Project Olympiad in Kenya.
Kenilworth's bevy of smart kids no doubt get inspiration from science teacher Elkhan Akhundov. It is Akhundov who finds these international opportunities for students and submits their projects for review.
Our newest honoree, Ashton, turned his curiosity and intelligence toward the war against cancer.
Take care to notice that I know I may be over my head trying to describe his project. He studied the effects of near-infrared light on gold nanoparticles. The
reason is became gold nanoparticles would attach to a protein once inside the body that would carry it to the cancer. Fox knew if he could find the particular light that would destroy the nanoparticle and the cancer cells, he might be able to remove them without injuring any of the healthy human tissue.
His research led to success, and Ashton pointed out that "discovering which gold nanoparticles are most vulnerable to near-infrared light can lead researchers to find more effective ways to fight cancer."
I think current chemotherapy is so broad in its destruction of cancer cells that sometimes a patient's healthy tissue suffers. This outstanding 8th grader may be showing the world a better way.
"We are all incredibly proud and excited for Ashton," Kenilworth superintendent Tevfik Eski said. "He is an exceptional young man with a great future. Kenilworth is proud to have played a part in his academic development."