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This Budding Scientist Needs Your Votes

It doesn't get better for a young scientist than the NCBiotech Excellence in Biotechnology Award and the regional gold — unless Kennedy Kirkman gets enough votes as a top-3 national finalist to win a $5,000 scholarship. Photos courtesy of Rindy Kirkman

Kennedy Kirkman is a passionate young woman with designs on a career in science.

But this 11-year-old scientist needs your votes to get to the next level.

A resident of China Grove, north of Charlotte, Kennedy has just been named one of three finalists in the science category of a national After School Awards competition.




The ultimate winner will be determined by the number of votes received on the competition website. It'll be a stiff race, because supporters of each contestant can vote once a day, now through Aug. 14, 2013.

Last year the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Greater Charlotte Office chose Kennedy’s Enochville Elementary School project for NCBiotech's "Excellence in Biotechnology Award" during the 2012 Regional Science Fair.

After winning regional honors, Kennedy entered a national competition for the After School Awards and has just been selected as one of three finalists in the science category. The After School Awards program, sponsored by F & T Apparel (Izod) and J.C. Penney, recognizes children for their after school projects that are making a difference in the world. The top prize is a $5,000 education scholarship.

Natural scientist, natural ingredients

Kennedy’s project involved creating her own 100 percent natural deodorant and 100 percent natural laundry detergent under the brand Wise Owl (named for her Enochville Elementary school mascot.).

Now that she's a national finalist, she needs supporters to vote for her on the After School Awards website every day through August. 14.

Her 100 percent Natural Wise Owl Laundry Detergent includes mango orange soap from N.C.-based Burt’s Bees as a key ingredient. A strict vegetarian, Kennedy tested her detergent and her 100 percent Natural Wise Owl Deodorant against store brands, and determined that they worked as well, without the chemicals that may cause problems for some people.

Kennedy at work in her dining room "science lab"

"She chose Burt's Bees because she uses their soap and lip balm," said Kennedy's mother, Rindy Kirkman. "She is always looking for natural products and checking labels for 'no animal testing' logos. Shopping with her can often take a while!"

Nothing but the Burt's

Her mother said Kennedy considered using less-expensive Ivory soap in her formulation, because it was promoted as 99 percent natural. But then she rejected the idea when she discovered it contains animal fat.

"She chose Burt's because she uses Burt's products and she is familiar with them. Kennedy was adamant that Burt's was better because they had a reputation for being good for the environment, they are proven to work, and she is a consumer of their products."

Kennedy wants to be a marine biologist when she grows up, but is working to make a difference in the ecosystem now. She sells her products to family and friends to raise money for the NC Sea Turtle Hospital. She’s saving this money, along with her science fair winnings, birthday gifts and Christmas money, to some day attend NC Sea Turtle Camp where she will be able to work with these endangered animals.

What's not to love? Let's get out the vote!


Great idea from such a young mind. Way to go.

Thanks Karen!

Way to go girl. Your Grandpa always loved chem.

Kennedy, You are awesome!! I'm a finalist in the Community Service category for my fight against hunger. I'm voting every day for you and would appreciate you voting for me. Keep it up!! ---your friend, Will Lourcey

Will you have our votes too!!! Good luck!!!

Thank you Aunt Linda!

way to go, seems like you are denicated to making this world a better place.

Thank you Laura!

Kudos for wanting to make this a better place.

Thank you to everyone for all the support and votes!!!! Will Lourcey I have also been voting for you!!!! Good luck and keep up the good work. We can make a difference!!!!!! Everyone please vote every day the contest ends on the 14th! Thank you again so much <3 Sincerely, Kennedy Kirkman

Good keep on doing ,finding new things . world needs children like u who can make the world better by finding eco -friendly things and contribute your part to the world, your parents .

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