From KATV:
High School Student Develops Project to Test for Meth

Location: Hot Springs
Reporter: Michelle Rupp
Posted: March 27, 2006 7:25 PM EST

Hot Springs - A winning science fair project could change the way homes are tested for meth production -- possibly making the job for law enforcement officers easier. A senior at the Arkansas School for Math, Sciences and the Arts has come up with a formula that has some at the crime lab excited about it's possibilities.

The Control Substance Lab was busy Tuesday as chemists and forensic scientists are busy testing anything from meth to pot. A new experiment, however, could indicate methamphetamine almost immediately at the scene.

(Jenni Perry, Forensic Chemist) "With her test you wipe it against the surface and there's a color change you see."

The experiment is being developed by a senior high school student, Jennifer Wu, who is working with the crime lab to further develop the project.

(Jennifer Wu, senior) "We'd like to test an actual meth production facility."

Forensic chemist, Jenni Perry, says this could be a vital tool for police around the state.

(Perry) "If it's a situation law enforcement agents can come out, narcotics officers can come out to determine if they need further assistance we can respond or they can take samples."

Perry says in 2003 and 2004 approximately 1,200 meth labs were seized and submitted to the crime lab. That number was nearly cut in half for 2005, primarily because legislation made it difficult to purchase meth ingredients.

(Perry) "Itís absolutely wonderful to see interest in forensics and to have a project like this that could really impact the community."

There is still plenty of testing to be completed. The new technology won't likely be available for several years. Wu