How Can I Connect With the Belin-Blank Center?

Many parents ask how their child can "join" the Belin-Blank Center. While we do not have an overall program that children can join, there are a variety of ways you can participate in our programs:

  • Self-nomination – Students may apply to classes or programs based on their strengths in a particular content area. We may ask you to demonstrate your abilities through essays, letters of recommendation, grades, scores, or portfolios representing your work. Some of these programs include Junior Scholars Institute and WINGS.

  • Teacher/school nomination – Several programs require that you be nominated by a teacher or your school. In addition, you may be asked for supporting material so that we can better understand your strengths. The Blank Summer Institute is one such program.

  • Above-level testing - All students in grades 4-9 who have scored in the 95th percentile or above on a standardized grade level test (one or more subsections), such as the Iowa Assessments, are invited to take advantage of our Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search (BESTS).

    • Blast is an academic commuter program for students who are eligible for BESTS, but students do not have to test prior to the program. Students in grades 4 through 9 are eligible for BESTS if they score at the 95th percentile or above on any subtest of a grade-level standardized test such as the Iowa Assessments. We strongly encourage students to participate in the Talent Search within the following academic year, in order to support educational decision-making on their behalf. Read Blast course descriptions carefully and to avoid registering for a class that sounds like it will cover material similar to that addressed in classes students have already taken. The Blast program has designed classes that are intended to challenge students in their areas of strength, not as remediation.

  • Many of our academic-year programs at the Belin-Blank Center are competition-based, and their guidelines vary. Others, like the Iowa Online AP Academy, provide accelerated instruction.

And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter, which comes out every other month.

See the full list of our student programs.