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Student Projects

The Wicked Soap Company

Author: Matt Martin

Grade: 10th

Subject: Chemistry

Poster: Wicked soap company
Making soap
Wicked Soap Co. product packaging
Soap balls
Hand packaging soap bars
Pouring soap mix into molds

Students in the Wicked Soap Company use the engineering design process to make and then sell amazing soap.   Our young stakeholders are responsible for every aspect of the design, planning, creation, packaging, sales, and proceeds.

Student use Chemistry to run an authentic business. They experiment with ingredients, ratios, and methods to refine their some into something useful and beautiful. Market research is done to find out what the consumers want and how we can best meet their needs. The Wicked Soap Company was launched in January 2015 and continues to grow today.

How can we use the engineering design process along with our science knowledge to meet the specific needs of a consumer?

Amazing high quality soap and bath bombs

Amazing soap and bath bombs

  • Neutralization reactions
  • Engineering design process
  • To become experts in the lab
  • To create balanced chemical reactions between oils and lye

Waaaaay too many to list. Literally hundreds of items. Key things are base oils, lye, essential oils,

Never have I seen students more engaged in a project. Students have generally been interested in the soap making process because it is messy, fun, and creates a beautiful, usable product. When we added an entrepreneurial aspect to this project, student excitement and engagement spiked to a level I have not seen before. Creative, social media, logistics, web design, and marketing departments quickly arose out of necessity.   There was so much to do and students could pour their energy into an aspect of the project that appealed to them. A beautiful and functional website was created and successfully run by our students. Facebook, instagram, and yelp pages helped steer business to our online store and in-person selling events at the earth day festival, Von’s shopping center, and various farmers markets. The logistics team accounted for all of our expenditures and sales. Sales topped $10000 to date which allowed us to give a grant to one of our teachers,two scholarships to graduating seniors, and cash for a student in a time of crisis. Paid internships were also created and filled by our class and we donated thousands of dollars worth of soap to local San Diegans in need.

The soap project was an amazing experience and was the first time I had ever done anything like it. I actually felt like a chemist, learning about chemical reactions and what went into the soap we were making. I became a business strategist, selling soap to people from all around the world and informing them about something that separates us from all chemistry classes.

-Darryl Nagal


Working soap was a great experience because we learned more than just chemistry we learned about business as well. We learned a lot about how to market to different demographics. I was bummed when things didn’t work out as well as you’d hope they would but it was still an experience.

-Isabelle Quejada


The Wicked Soap Company was a experience and project that really combined a lot of elements of chemistry together while making the process of learning fun. We learned through all the different recipes we experimented with this semester. It was also a way to incorporate how it would feel to be in a business, letting others interested in that field in the future seeing if they would really like to go down that path or not. It was overall just a fun experience and a project that you can you could only get here at HTHMA. – Mikaela Cuevas


I’m so glad I got to experience something like the Soap Company Project. I’ve learned about so much more than just science, or making soap. I’ve also learned about the dynamics of entrepreneurship. I felt like a true chemist and a business woman. There was nothing more satisfying than watching people buy and admire something that I made.

-Katie A.


Being in Matt Martins chemistry class this year has taught me so much. Not only have I learned the basic material from a normal chemistry class, I have also learned groupwork skills, important aspects on how to run a business and how to plan and execute an experiment. I walked into this class knowing nothing about chemistry. I didn’t know what a chemical formula was much less how to balance one. Now I feel like I have learned so much and am more interested in Chemistry. I even want to do experiments on my own time now that I have been introduced, and shown how to run an experiment. This has been a valuable class and I am glad that I was able to participate in it.

-Gillian Probert



  • “This project is not just about making soap, but being able to work with others and learn to appreciate other’s opinions.”- Matthew Marshall
  • “I learned how to apply chemistry in the real world.”-Jaci Umpstead
  • “Everything in this world, everything that you do, it’s all chemistry.” – Lucas Santiago
  • “This project taught me that there’s creativity in all of us” – Brian Ha
  • “This project taught me a lot about the real world, especially business” – Solomon Stovall-Ceja
  • “I learned not only how to make soap but how to run a small business through a real world experience.”- Marisol F
  • “I’ve matured and become a leader” – Joshua Espinoza