2013-14 General Catalog
Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education
The Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development is dedicated to serving the needs of the gifted community at local, national, and international levels. It offers programs for preservice and inservice educators, including the State of Iowa Talented and Gifted Endorsement. Its online and on-campus courses and workshops on gifted education support the professional development of educators worldwide.
The center is home to the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration, and the National Institute for Twice Exceptionality. The center also administers the College of Education's Honors Opportunity Program, through which qualified undergraduate students in education work toward graduation with collegiate honors.
For more information about the center and its programs, contact the Belin-Blank Center or visit its web site.
The Belin-Blank Center offers a wide variety of programs for precollege students. The Exceptional Student Talent Search (grades 2-9) helps determine talented students' academic abilities and needs. Outreach programs include Invent Iowa (grades K-12), which encourages students to think about and solve problems through invention, and Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards (grades 7-12), which recognize achievement in the literary, visual, and performing arts.
The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (grades 9-12) engages students in original research and experimentation in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). Students present the results of their research to a panel of judges and an audience of their peers at the Iowa Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. The top two presenters are invited to present at the national symposium.
The National Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (grade 12) gives high-achieving students the opportunity to enroll at The University of Iowa before they finish high school. To enter the program, students must have completed grade 11 or the equivalent. The program is open to high-ability students worldwide.
The center's academic year nonresidential programs include Challenge Saturdays (grades 3-8), which offers half-day Saturday classes in Iowa City and in Des Moines, Iowa, for high-ability students and for Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search members; and the Weekend Institute for Gifted Students (grades 3-8), which offers three-hour Saturday classes in Iowa City and in Council Bluffs, Iowa, for high-ability students. Challenges for Elementary School Students (grades 2-6) is a nonresidential summer program for Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search members that offers two weeks of half-day classes in Iowa City and Des Moines.
The Belin-Blank Center also offers the following residential programs, which are held on the University of Iowa campus during summer. Students in each program participate in cultural and recreational activities and have access to the University's libraries, computer facilities, and study areas. Housing and meals are provided at the University's residence halls.
Blank Summer Institute
The Blank Summer Institute for the Arts & Sciences (BSI) is a one-week program that provides an intensive, advanced educational experience designed to enhance exceptionally talented students' intellectual and social growth. The BSI study plan complements the regular school curriculum. Students choose one of eight courses that explore advanced science, math problem solving, social sciences, creative writing, invention and innovation, visual arts, performing arts, and global and cultural studies.
To be eligible for BSI, students must be Iowa residents, must be completing grade 7 or 8, and must be nominated by their schools. Students selected for BSI receive a Myron and Jacqueline Blank Summer Scholarship to cover part of the institute's cost.
China and Hong Kong Scholars
The China and Hong Kong Scholars Program is a Belin-Blank Center partnership that brings high-ability students from China and Hong Kong to The University of Iowa to sample life as university students during the summer before their senior year of high school. The scholars take classes and engage in recreational and social activities on campus. Some of the students may be admitted to the University once they have completed high school in their home countries.
Iowa Talent Project
The Belin-Blank Center collaborates with the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, school districts through the Iowa Talent Project (ITP) to identify talented and gifted students from underrepresented populations who are taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses as they progress through secondary school. ITP participants attend a residential summer program at The University of Iowa that focuses on college preparation. They also complete AP courses and take at least three AP exams. Upon finishing high school, successful ITP students are admitted to The University of Iowa. Many earn an Iowa Talent Project scholarship.
Junior Scholars Institute
The Junior Scholars Institute (JSI) is a one-week program in which students take a single advanced course for the entire week. Students choose from courses on subjects ranging from creative writing to engineering to the arts.
JSI is open to students from around the world. To be eligible, students must be completing grade 6, 7, or 8. They may nominate themselves and must submit a nomination packet. Students selected for JSI receive a scholarship to cover part of the institute's cost.
National Scholars Institute
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Updated October 2013