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CONTACT: SCOTT HAUSER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: scott-hauser@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

UI's Belin-Blank Center reaches milestone in gifted junior high program

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A group of 82 gifted and talented Iowa junior high and middle school students on campus until June 27 are taking part in a select, two-week program that includes eligibility for $1,000 in scholarships to the University of Iowa.

The Iowa Summer Institute for Arts and Sciences (ISI), conducted by the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development in the UI College of Education, marks a milestone in its fifth year:

-- The first group of ISI students who participated as eighth-graders in the summer of 1993 are eligible to enroll at the UI in fall 1997. Those 52 students were guaranteed a $1,000 scholarship to the UI if they enrolled as first-year students.

Nicholas Colangelo, director of the Belin-Blank Center, says the scholarship featured in the ISI program is unique in gifted and talented education.

"The students who complete ISI are among the very brightest in the United States," Colangelo says. "Many will be eligible for Harvard, Yale and Stanford universities after high school. By exposing them to the university's excellent academic possibilities as junior high students and by providing a strong scholarship program, we hope they will consider the university when it comes time for college."

Begun in 1993, ISI is designed to expose seventh- and eighth-graders to the type of coursework undertaken by college students. During their two-week stay, students take courses in one of five core areas: biological microscopy, probability and statistics, creative writing, multi-media technology, and invention and innovation.

All Iowa public and approved private junior high and middle schools may nominate one student in each of the five academic areas to attend ISI. No school can have more than five students (one in each area) attend during the summer.

Those chosen receive scholarships, funded by a gift from Myron and Jacqueline Blank of Des Moines, to offset the majority of the cost of attending the institute.

6/20/97

Editors: Media interested in arranging interviews or in pursuing photo possibilities with students attending the Belin-Blank Center's summer programs, should contact Jan Warren, precollege program coordinator, at (319) 335-6148. Warren oversees the schedules for each group of students.