Author Archives: belinblank

SSTP 2018 is in the Books!

Thursday, July 26th saw the close of the 2018 Secondary Student Training Program at the University of Iowa.

To celebrate a summer of exceptional research, participating students concluded their work by presenting their research in a final poster competition. Represented among the presentations was research from the College of Engineering, the Carver College of Medicine, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to name just a few. Congratulations to all students who presented!

A special congratulations goes out to this year’s valedictory class speaker, Iowa’s own Riley Dejohn, who spent his summer researching physical chemistry in Dr. Alexei Tivanski’s group at the University. Also featured was special guest speaker Dr. Hanna Stevens, professor of psychology and veteran SSTP mentor, who shared her insights gleaned over years of pedagogy during the final banquet dinner.

Thank you to our guest judges from Integrated DNA Technologies, without whom the final poster competition would not have been possible, and to the 2018 SSTP mentors at the University, for all of the guidance and leadership they gave to each student. We know that you have made a huge difference in the lives and careers of these future researchers!

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Message From the Director: How Did We Get From 1988-2018? Phase IV (2003-2008)

Phase IV of this retrospective collection of director’s messages began a mere 15 years ago – halfway into the 30 years we are commemorating – yet the closer we get to “now” the more nostalgic I feel.  This is especially true as I reflect upon this five-year period.

The Belin-Blank Center has always been a part of the College of Education, but our home is in a building named in honor of Myron and Jacqueline Blank, who provided the lead gift for the building.  We had a wonderful ribbon-cutting ceremony in the fall of 2003 and moved into the Blank Honors Center on one of the coldest days in January of 2004.

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It was joy to have Myron Blank participate in this important milestone. Indeed, we honor our founding families each day through our programs and service for young students and their educators.

What an eventful year 2004 was!  In addition to the move into a brand new building, we published the watershed report, A Nation Deceived:  How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students, which Time magazine launched with a major story about academic acceleration as the most effective but least used academic intervention.

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The momentum from 2004 resulted in the next several years being similarly active.  However, one of those years, 2005, was also a year of significant loss.  Myron Blank passed away in early 2005.  He and Jacqueline left an indelible imprint on gifted  education through their generosity and vision.

A few months later, Julian Stanley, founder of the Talent Search Model, passed away.  At the 2018 Wallace Research Symposium, we honored Professor Stanley’s legacy.  You can learn more about Dr. Stanley’s seven-decade career and the impact on the center and around the world by watching the video created for the occasion.

The Phase IV years, 2003-2008, flew by with special events for students and teachers.

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By 2008, we were well on our way to Phases V and VI.

Rural Iowa STEM Teachers Learn from a Legend in Gifted Education

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We were honored to have Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska join our professional development event for our new Javits-funded project, Educators Nurturing Talent Identification and Career Exploration (ENTICE). The project seeks to help educators identify and serve underrepresented and under-resourced talented students. Dr. VanTassel-Baska also did a crossover presentation about the Integrated Curriculum Model with both STEM Excellence (a separate but related program) and ENTICE educators.  In addition to being a valuable resource for these educators, she is one of two evaluators for the grant.  Originally, the Javits-funded program was called TICE, but the participating educators made the addition of “EN” during the event!

The 2018 STEM Excellence teacher professional development event overlapped with ENTICE’s schedule.  This was the fourth year of this successful event. Over thirty teachers and administrators were in attendance. Attendees participated in a variety of workshops on topics ranging from student career development, identification of and interventions for twice-exceptional learners, reinforcing math concepts using computer science, and argument-based strategies for STEM-infused science teaching. Teachers, facilitators, and the STEM Excellence researchers spent time engaging in in-depth conversations about the STEM Excellence programs at their schools. They shared ideas and lesson plans for innovative STEM practices that their middle school students have engaged in, and they planned for future lessons that would best prepare their students to take challenging and advanced STEM course work in high school and beyond.

Thank you to all of these educators for their work in bringing new opportunities to high-ability Iowa students!

Graduate Classes Your Way!

Learn about gifted education when and where it’s convenient for you!  ALL coursework below applies to the State of Iowa Talented and Gifted Endorsement and provides the possibility of moving up the salary scale in your district.

  • Cost of courses starts at $312 (undergraduate credit)
  • Register for one or more classes. Online 2018 courses include:
    • EDTL:4073:0WKA Facilitating Student Research Projects
    • EDTL:4096:0WKC Competitions for Gifted/Talented (all grades)
    • EDTL:4024:0WKA Differentiating with Technology
    • EDTL:4074:0WKA Differentiating / Secondary Level
    • RCE:4124:0WKA  Ethnic/Cultural Issues and Gifted
    • EDTL:4085:0WKA Current Readings / Research in Gifted Ed
  • All are one-semester-hour credits

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Ready to Get Started?

  • More details at belinblank.org/educators.
  • New students should follow the link to Register for the directions to apply as a continuing education student (no fee to apply).
  • You need a computer and a reliable internet connection. Many courses provide all necessary course materials. For others, you will need to purchase one or two books.
  • No travel requirement. All online courses can be completed at home.
  • Questions? Laurie Croft, Associate Director: Professional Development: Laurie-Croft@uiowa.edu

 

More Professional Development Opportunities

Courses in Gifted Education: Chautauqua (July 9 – 21, 2018)

Chau·tau·qua [SHəˈtôkwə] popular adult education courses

*All are one-semester-hour credits; completion of courses often includes online discussion and/or submission of final projects via ICON

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Ready to Get Started?

  • More details at: belinblank.org/chautauqua
  • New students should follow the link to Register for the directions to apply as a continuing education student (no fee to apply)
  • Classes begin at 9:00 am, ending at 4:00 pm
  • Take 3 classes in one week and receive a full scholarship for 1 class (take 6 over both weeks and receive a full scholarship for 2 classes)
  • Questions? Laurie Croft, Clinical Professor of Gifted Education,  Associate Director for Professional Development (laurie-croft@uiowa.edu)

Summer Social Skills Group for High School Students

The Belin-Blank Center Assessment and Counseling Clinic is offering a social skills group for high ability students who are entering 9th – 12th grade who demonstrate strong intellectual or academic abilities and social skills challenges (possibly due to ASD, anxiety, ADHD, etc.). The goal of the group is to facilitate development of improved social skills and peer relationships through natural social interaction and video modeling techniques.

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There will be 6 group sessions, each 50 minutes in length, conducted on the 5th floor of Blank Honors Center. The group will meet weekly on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, July 10, and running through Tuesday, August 14.  The fee is $45 per session, and we do accept BC/BS insurance. We will accept up to 6 students for our summer session.

If you have any questions or would like for your child to participate in this group, please contact alissa-doobay@uiowa.edu.

Message from the Director: How Did We Get From 1988 to 2018? Phase III (1998-2003)

The inspirational view of the UI campus from my sixth floor office window lends itself to reflecting on the past while concentrating on the important events scheduled over the next two months.

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Back in spring 1998, we would have been ensconced in preparations for Invent Iowa, one of the Center’s major spring events.

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Young Iowans are still inventing and this year’s convention featured innovations from students across the state.

Then, we were also making preparations for our very first Advisory Board Meeting.

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Now, we are focused on the Center’s 30th anniversary, which we will celebrate during the 2018 Annual Advisory Board Meeting.  (We will have more about commemorating 30 years over the next couple of newsletter messages.)

In 1998, we hosted our 4th Wallace Research Symposium; today, we are counting down the days to the 2018 Symposium at the end of this month.  The 2018 Wallace Symposium honors the legacy of Julian C. Stanley, founder of the Talent Search Model and promises to be an amazing opportunity for all who will be able to participate.  Thanks to an agreement with the University of Iowa’s Division of Continuing Education, we will be video-taping all of the plenary sessions so that we can create a course that will be available to current and future educators.

Other highlights of our Phase III time period included welcoming the first class of our early entrance-to-university program, now the Bucksbaum Early Entrance Academy, along with the development and launch of the Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy (IOAPA).

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Then, and now, Professional Development is at the core of our programming.  Having grown from just a few courses focused on teacher training in the very early days, to a full-blown professional development program that includes the State of Iowa Talented and Gifted Endorsement and coursework available online, makes our programming accessible around the world.

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The summer of 2003 would be the last summer that we conducted professional development programming or student programming outside of the Blank Honors Center.  Indeed, the year 2003 culminated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the late fall and we moved in to our new home in January 2004.

Our industrious summer program participants created a mural for the protective wall at the Blank Honors Center building site.

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We presented a photo of the mural to Myron Blank, one of our founders, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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Stay tuned for Phase IV in June!