Stephen Litt

Gross for Good! 7th Grader, Stephen Litt, Uses Worms to Cure Cancer!

Stephen Litt is a very curious 7th grader at Lovinggood Middle School, near Atlanta, Georgia. His life has also been impacted by two relatives who have had breast cancer.

So when it was time for his school’s science fair, he decided to something important – research a cure for cancer! First, he learned that Japanese people have much lower cancer rates than people in the United States.  He also learned that the Japanese drink lots of green tea!  So he set out to understand if some of the chemicals in green tea actually led to lower cancer rates.

With his dad’s help, Stephen created an experiment using worms, also known as planaria.


Through his testing with the worms, he uncovered evidence that some chemicals in green tea may be able to fight cancer! Stephen has already won many awards for his efforts.  But he is nowhere near done! He plans to continue his research in the coming years to zone in more on a real cure for cancer.

Check out Stephen’s inspiring story below!

Additional Resources:

Topics for Discussion:

  • What character traits does Stephen exhibit?
  • What or who inspired Stephen to take action?
  • Have you ever set a big goal for yourself?  Can you think of a big problem you would like to research?
  • How do you feel when you spend time helping others vs. just helping yourself?
  • Think about the community you live in. Are there things that could be changed to better your community? Brainstorm about your ideas with your family or class.

Take Action:

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students
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