What would it be like if you were the data analyst for your own youth baseball team? Just ask Jacob Chew and Reid Lampert. They were among approximately 180 students selected from almost 700 applicants to participate in this summer's Virginia STEAM Academy. Now in its fourth year, the STEAM Academy is a non-profit collaboration between more than two dozen businesses, institutions and colleges that seeks to accelerate science, engineering, technology and applied mathematics education for advanced students. Chew and Lampert's week-long workshop was hosted by Washington and Lee University, and the two Berkeley Middle students had the opportunity to learn advanced statistics with Dr. John David, the director of the Applied and Industrial Mathematics program at VMI. For their final project, Chew and Lampert used the publicly available statistics for the last three years of the Williamsburg Youth Baseball League's 12u Majors division to create a new stat called "youth win shares." Given that almost all sports statistics are derived from the professional athlete's experience, the idea was to construct a stat that was specific to the youth player's experience. It was an easy fit for them. Chew and Lampert were both members of Berkeley Middle School's district champion Mathcounts team as well as Berkeley's district champion baseball team this past spring, and both are alumni of the Williamsburg Revolution All Stars.
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