Jayleen is involved in several different sports, including track, basketball, volleyball, and swimming. She also is a member of the 4-H Club. She hopes to become an animal trainer someday. She says, "I grew up around animals, and so now I love them."
After a family member died of cigarette-related causes, Jayleen wondered whether littered cigarette butts and filters could harm other organisms in the environment. She hypothesized that nicotine in butts and filters would increase an animal's heart rate and decrease its lifespan. Jayleen decided to test her hypothesis in Daphnia, a tiny freshwater crustacean.
Jayleen recorded baseline heart rates for six Daphnia. She then added two smoked cigarette filters to a gallon of spring water and two unsmoked filters to a second gallon. She added groups of Daphnia to these solutions and monitored their life spans and heart rates. Although she didn't see any significant change in heart rate, Jayleen found that the daphnia exposed to the cigarette filter solutions died significantly faster than those living in spring water.