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SCIENCE TALENT SEARCH
Program Information

64th Annual STS (2004-2005)
Finalists
Amber Irish Hess


Amber Irish Hess CALIFORNIA
Amber Victoria Irish Hess, 18, of Carmel, presented one route to more affordable thin-layer chromatography (TLC) in her "poor man's" spectrophotometer for an Intel Science Talent Search chemistry project. She believes that using digital photography in combination with her TLC Analyzer software could improve fluorescence-based qualitative analysis for compound identification. Amber's approach was to make the far costlier quantitative analytic methods easier and more affordable. Her digitally-enhanced measurements, for which she generates a numerical matrix-based system with exportable spreadsheet files, might provide an alternative to the costly industry-standard TLC scanners and bring quantitative methods to results- and budget-conscious scientists and students everywhere. Amber attends Robert Louis Stevenson School in Pebble Beach and supports junior high school scientists through Science Buddies, an online mentoring program that encourages their science fair project research. A two-time recipient of the Best Poster Award at a regional meeting of AAAS, she hopes to study engineering in college. Amber is the daughter of Kenneth Hess and Constance Irish Hess.

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