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The Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa

lVISION

April 2020

Susan Assouline

Message from the Director: New Normal, Unchanged Mission

Many who are reading this message will have finished their day as a first responder, an essential worker, or a dedicated teacher who is adjusting to online teaching while taking care of young children. Your commitment to the health and well-being of your communities inspires us and we are grateful. As we adjust to the new normal of life during a pandemic and alter our behaviors and attitudes to do our part to flatten the curve, we focus on what has not changed. More...

A face mask next to the word Safety in plastic letters

Summer 2020 Student Programs Update

After considering guidelines for social distancing, whether families and staff would be able to safely travel and stay on campus, and the protection and wellbeing of minors on campus during a pandemic, we made the difficult decision to cancel much of our summer programming. More...

Question mark

How Can We Help?

In these unprecedented times, we want to hear from you about how we can best support the needs of your bright and twice-exceptional students. Let us know your thoughts with this brief survey. More...


A woman sits on a couch with her laptop

A 19th-Century Idea Meets 21st-Century Technology

For several years, the Belin-Blank Chautauqua has mirrored the eponymous adult-education movement that was so popular in the late 1800s – early 1900s. Classes have brought teachers together for an accelerated learning experience, as well as time to interact with one another. More...

The word Support spelled out in Scrabble tiles

Social and Emotional Support for Gifted Learners During COVID-19

Throughout the world, people are experiencing anxiety about the COVID-19 outbreak. Our thanks to Wendy Behrens, Gifted and Talented Education Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education, for sharing these resources for supporting gifted children. More...

A woman works at a long wooden table on her laptop

Teachers: A Time for Learning

Professional learning opportunities are going to continue this summer, providing educators with more possibilities to understand the unique needs of gifted learners. More...

A little girl writes in a workbook among craft supplies

Suddenly Homeschooling: Resources for Parents of Gifted Children

Suddenly, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are navigating new territory–teaching their children at home while also trying to work from home and maintain some semblance of normal family life. Here are a few resources that might be helpful to your and your gifted child during this time. More...

Headshots of Susannah M. Wood, PhD, and Emily Kircher-Morris, LPC

Taking Care of Yourself While Reaching Out to Others

In addition to having questions about supporting gifted students' needs during the challenges of the pandemic and recommendations for self isolation, teachers need an opportunity to strengthen their own commitment to personal routines for self care. This free webinar in partnership with ITAG can help. More...

Iowa JSHS winners group shot

2020 Iowa Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

The Iowa Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS), hosted by the Belin-Blank Center every March, is the premier high school science competition in Iowa. We are proud to share this year's Iowa finalists. Head over to our photo album to see their impressive work!

Pooja Kasiviswanathan

We Have a (National) Winner!

Speaking of JSHS, congratulations to Pooja Kasiviswanathan, from Ames High School, for winning first place at Nationals...twice! Pooja's win marks the fourth consecutive year that an Iowa JSHS student brought home a national prize. More...

Boy poses with backpack and a stack of books in front of bookshelf

Trying to Make Decisions about School Placement or Acceleration for Next Year?

We might be able to help! Above-level testing is a useful tool for gathering data needed for decisions such as: Does my student need additional challenge in a particular subject? Is my child ready to skip a grade? More...

Regional award-winners stand on stage

2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Celebration

The Belin-Blank Center is proud to serve as the Iowa and Midwest Region-at-Large Affiliate for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program. Last month, we celebrated the 2020 award winners in Iowa City. Check out the photos!

An Invent Iowa inventor wears her invention

2020 Invent Iowa State Invention Convention

Congratulations to the inventors and finalists of the 2020 Invent Iowa State Invention Convention! This year's Invention Convention went virtual with the Invent Iowa 2020 Award Tour! Fly through the sky to each winning inventor's school with our Google Earth tour, and don't forget to stop at the keynote presentation!

Quill stands by his invention display

The Henry Ford Presents Kid Inventor Quill Orth

The Henry Ford features a kid inventor who has made a particular impact. Last week, they featured a 2018 Invent Iowa winner! Check out Quill Orth (Lewis Central CSD), inventor of the Hot Spot Chicken Insulating Cream, which prevents frostbite on chickens’ combs. Quill went on to compete at the 2018 National Invention Convention, where he won the 3M Innovative Materials Award for his invention. More...

A girl sits proudly by her terrarium

Want to Support a Student?

We know that times are hard for many students and their families right now. We are grateful that the Iowa way is to support each other. If you are able and would like to help gifted and twice-exceptional students have their unique needs met, please consider donating here. More...


The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preference. The University also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to University facilities. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, (319) 335-0705 (voice) and (319) 335-0697 (text), 202 Jessup Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1316.

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Belin-Blank Center · 600 BHC · University of Iowa · Iowa City, IA 52242 · USA