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Release: Immediate

Finalists of UI-administered 'Invent, Iowa!' meet April 12 in Des Moines

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Nearly 350 elementary, junior high and middle school students selected from throughout Iowa will showcase the inventions they have created Saturday, April 12 in Des Moines as finalists in the 10th annual "Invent, Iowa!" program.

Students will display their creations in a day-long "Invention Convention" at the Des Moines Convention Center. The public is invited to view the displays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The statewide event is the final round of a series of school, district and regional competitions that began last fall with more than 35,000 students.

The program is designed to foster creativity in children in grades kindergarten through nine. Students use a variety of academic skills -- including reading, library research, field research, science, technology, public speaking and others -- to identify a practical need or problem and create an invention to address it.

Invent, Iowa! is administered by a volunteer board of directors and The Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the UI College of Education.

Debra Johnson, program coordinator for Invent Iowa! at the Belin-Blank Center, says the creativity of students in the program always surprises parents, teachers, and the public. Several students in the program have earned patents or trademarks for inventions originally displayed as part of Invent, Iowa!.

"This really is a remarkable group of students who have gone all out to use their inventive talents in ways that are interesting to them personally but also have practical implications," Johnson says.

The Belin-Blank Center was established in 1988 with support from Myron and Jacqueline Blank of Des Moines, Des Moines attorney David Belin, the UI and the state Board of Regents.

The center is also the administrative headquarters of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, an organization of educators, parents, educational institutions and others interested in providing academically exceptional students worldwide.


Editors note: If you are interested in localizing Invent, Iowa!'s 10th annual statewide Invention Convention through the story of a student in your Area Education Agency, contact Scott Hauser, of UI News Services, at (319) 384-0007. We will try to locate a student in your area who will be attending the convention.