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Rocks and ladders: National Youth Science Camp delegates scaling new heights


National Youth Science Camp

Steve Blasberg, a 1968 National Youth Science Camp delegate and a math instructor at West Valley College in Saratoga, Calif., leads a directed study about math applications, including how to use math to predict dominant and recessive traits.
(National Youth Science Camp photo)

BARTOW, W.Va. — Steve Blasberg used a projector on top of a picnic table. He carried three pens in his pocket. One was red. He is a teacher.

A white-bearded and bespectacled mathematician, Blasberg described how to use math to predict a person’s chances of dominant or recessive genetic traits, like hair or eye color. He explained, for example, how inbreeding compounded the chances of hemophilia, a bleeding disorder and recessive trait, among the European royal families. Next to him, musical instruments sat in their cases.

It was the second full day of National Youth Science Camp in Pocahontas County. Four days prior, promising recent high school graduates from across the country and world had flown into Yeager Airport in Charleston. They spent the night at the University of Charleston, then headed to Camp Pocahontas for three and a half weeks of outdoor adventure and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.

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