Category Archives: Advanced Placement

APTTI 2017 Recap

We had such a great week of AP training at the end of June!

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More than 100 teachers participated in 8 AP workshops in science, technology, math, language arts, and history. They are now certified by the College Board to teach those courses in their schools!

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They also got to take home some AP materials to get them started in their courses!

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Interested in becoming an AP teacher? Keep an eye on our website (belinblank.org/aptti) and the blog for details on next year’s APTTI. If you’re curious about other ways to offer AP courses to your students, visit belinblank.org/ioapa.

New for 2017-2018: Environmental Science Classes

We are thrilled to present IOAPA’s newest offerings, available now for Fall 2017 registration: AP Environmental Science for high school students and Environmental Science for middle schoolers.

High school students can register for AP Environmental Science to learn about the natural world, identify environmental problems, and examine solutions for resolving and preventing them (College Board). Suggested prerequisites include two years of lab science courses (one year each of life science and physical science) and one year of algebra. This is a two-semester, lab science course, and required materials can be found here. Learn more about this course from Apex Learning.

Students in 6th through 8th grade can enroll in Environmental Science to explore the biosphere, the environment in which organisms live on Earth. This is a two-semester course, and there are no recommended prerequisites. This course includes a lab component, and students and mentors can choose to complete “dry” labs, which do not require additional materials, or “hands-on” labs, which require materials listed here.

For more information and to see all of our course offerings, visit belinblank.org/ioapa.

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More Summer Opportunities For IOAPA Students and Mentors

We know our IOAPA students and mentors are always looking for ways to keep busy and to keep improving their skills. We wanted to offer a few more options of relevant opportunities and events through the Belin-Blank Center.

IOAPA Students
Junior Scholars Institute: One-week, residential summer program on the University of Iowa campus for students in grades 6 through 8. Several classes remain open for enrollment for this summer (June 18-23)! JSI is a self-nomination program open to all students regardless of participation in their school’s talented and gifted program. Students select one advanced level course to take for the week. This year’s course topics include mixed media art, Wonder Woman, engineering, and Robot Theater, among others. Visit the JSI website for more information.

National Scholars Institute: One-week, residential summer program on the University of Iowa campus for students in grades 9 through 11. Much like JSI, NSI is a self-nomination program, so all interested students in grades 9-11 are encouraged to apply! Enrollment is still open for several courses. This summer’s course topics include 3D design and printing, engineering, visual arts, and data science. There are two NSI sessions, and students select one advanced level course per session. Students may choose to participate in one or both sessions. NSI Session 1 occurs July 9-14, 2017, and Session 2 runs July 16-21, 2017. Visit the NSI website for more information.

To see all the Belin-Blank Center summer opportunities for students, visit belinblank.org/summer.

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IOAPA Mentors
AP Teacher Training Institute: One-week program for teachers seeking certification to teach an AP course at their school. This is an especially great opportunity for schools that have offered IOAPA courses in the past, but now wish to expand their on-campus AP offerings. Enrollment is still open for most of our courses, including AP Computer Science, AP English Language and Composition, and AP Physics. To learn more, see last week’s blog post or visit belinblank.org/aptti.

Professional Development: The Belin-Blank Center offers extensive professional development opportunities for teachers in gifted education, with both in-person and online coursework options throughout the summer and during the academic year. IOAPA mentors may be interested in looking into the Chautauqua series, which includes 6 separate workshops over two weeks (June 19 – June 24 and June 26 – July 1, 2017). Additional information about PD opportunities and coursework can be found at belinblank.org/educators.

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Four Weeks Until APTTI 2017

In four short weeks, we will be welcoming teachers to the University of Iowa campus for a week of AP training and fun. There is still time to register and join us!

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All workshops remain open for registration. We are especially excited to offer an AP Computer Science A workshop to aid in local efforts to expand access to computer science instruction for all students. To see all the available workshops, learn about our consultants, and register, visit our website.

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If you teach in Iowa, you may be eligible for a grant to help defray the cost of attending. A limited number of grants are available, so check it out and apply today! Pre-service teachers currently studying at the University of Iowa are also eligible to attend APTTI at a reduced rate. Email aptti@belinblank.org for more information about these options.

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Academic credit and Iowa Licensure Renewal Units are available. These can be applied to a gifted education endorsement, graduate degree, and/or licensure renewal, depending upon the credit option you pursue. Visit our Credit Opportunities page to learn more about the available options and find out how to sign up. We encourage you to complete some or all of the credit application and registration process before arriving on campus. Visit our website for details regarding who to contact with questions. 

We look forward to having you on campus this summer! Share your experiences on Twitter using #APTTI2017.

Summer Activities for IOAPA Students

The end of the school year is upon us! Summer is a time for fun and relaxation, but some IOAPA students may also be searching for intellectually stimulating activities to occupy their free time. Here are some ideas:

Participate in summer enrichment activities such as Blast (Iowa City, Ankeny, and Waukee; open to students through 6th grade), Summer of Learning (West Des Moines Community Schools; opportunities for all grades), or Summer Enriched & Accelerated Learning (Sioux City; open to high-ability students entering grades 1 through 9). Your school or Area Education Agency may have more ideas of local opportunities.

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Engage in volunteer opportunities in your community. Volunteer work can strengthen college and job applications, and it has social and psychological benefits for both the volunteers and the people and communities they serve.

Read for fun, read the news, read alone or with friends or family. Reading helps expand your vocabulary and build your analytical skills. The Iowa Reading Research Center offers resources for promoting literacy development and Hoagies Gifted Education Page offers reading lists for gifted students. Public libraries often offer summer reading programs for students of all ages.

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Learn something new like a skill you’ve always wanted to master. There are free online tutorials for almost anything, and it’s a great way to challenge your brain to operate in a different way.

How do you plan to spend your summer? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @belinblankIOAPA!

 

2017 Iowa AP Index

This time of year in Iowa signals the arrival of warmer weather, graduation, and the publication of the Iowa AP Index. Every year since 2005, the Belin-Blank Center has recognized Iowa high schools for providing Advanced Placement opportunities to Iowa students.

The Iowa AP Index for a given high school is the ratio of AP exams taken by students (any grade) divided by the number of its graduating seniors. A high AP Index is an indication that a school has developed a culture that is supportive of student participation in AP courses and exams. For more on how the Index is calculated, visit the About the Index page. The 2017 statewide AP Index for all public schools in Iowa is .63, and reflects a .03-point increase in statewide AP participation compared to 2016.

For the 9th consecutive year, George Washington High School in Cedar Rapids is the top-ranked school with an AP Index of 3.31. Rounding out the top 5 are John F. Kennedy High School (Cedar Rapids, 3.03), Valley Lutheran High School (Cedar Falls, 3.00), Roosevelt High School (Des Moines, 2.86), and West Senior High School (Iowa City, 2.42). Visit the AP Index website to learn more view the full list.

Are you curious about how to increase AP participation in your school? Check out our previous post on developing an AP culture and check out the College Board’s resources to start and grow AP. IOAPA can help expand access to AP, especially for rural schools that cannot support in-person AP courses. Visit belinblank.org/ioapa to learn more.

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Join Us For APTTI 2017

Do you want to learn how to teach an AP class? Join us at the AP Teacher Training Institute this summer, June 27-30, 2017, on the University of Iowa campus. This 4-day institute provides comprehensive preparation for developing and teaching an AP course. We are offering 8 classes: AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science A, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Physics 1, and AP US History. You can read letters from our instructors, check out the syllabi, and review the institute schedule on our website.

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Iowa teachers are eligible for a grant from the Iowa Online AP Academy to attend APTTI at a reduced cost. Visit our Financial Assistance page for more information.

For an additional fee, attendees can also earn academic credit and/or Iowa Licensure Renewal Units. Registration for these options is separate from APTTI registration. Further information is available here.

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We had a lot of fun last summer, and we’re looking forward to another great institute! To join us, please visit our Registration page. If you have questions, contact us at aptti@belinblank.org. We can’t wait to see you this summer!

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