Sasha enjoys playing basketball, softball and volleyball. She is also involved in gymnastics and dance and enjoys making arts and crafts with friends. She would like to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, computers or the military.
Her two science teachers, Dr. Prince and Mr. Maderer, are her mentors. "They were the ones who inspired me," says Sasha.
While studying photosynthesis and its effects on plants, the girls designed a project to try to improve the efficiency of plants in photosynthesis. The purpose of their project was to determine how different wavelengths of lightextremely-low-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF), strobe light and flashlightaffect the opening and closing of stomata. Stomata are epidermal openings in plants through which they emit water vapor and through which carbon dioxide and oxygen are exchanged. They hypothesized that the stomata would open wider when exposed to darker lights (green/blue) than they do when exposed to lighter lights (yellow/white). Their second hypothesis was that stomata would not open as wide when exposed to EMF.
The girls took tradescantia plant cuttings from outside their school and rooted them indoors. They monitored plant growth by measuring ambient temperature and relative humidity of the environment twice a day, and they set up a television microscope with a visible light source to record all stomata movement on videotape. The girls exposed the stomata to white light (control) and to combinations of the other types of light. Their results supported their first hypothesis: that exposure to dark lights (blue and green) would cause the stomata to open wide and that in the presence of EMF and the colored lights, the stomata would open even wider. The girls determined that the next step for their research would be to test whether the widening of the stomata would have a negative or a positive effect on the long-term growth of the plant.