Category Archives: About IEA

Yunasa West 2014

By Jessica Houben

IEA’s pioneering Yunasa summer camps unite highly able youngsters with experts in the social and emotional development of gifted children. Campers explore and grow the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, and physical aspects of their lives.

Yunasa West 2014

In June, 39 campers from across the country came together for Yunasa West at Camp Shady Brook in Deckers, Colorado, for a week of intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical growth.

The week started off by introducing this year’s IEA program theme: The Common Good. As we talked about The Common Good, campers shared what the theme meant to them and how they thought it would be relevant to their camp experience. They described the Common Good as acting unselfishly, doing things for other people rather than yourself, and behaving in a way that promotes the health of the group, even if one’s own best interest is at stake. We proceeded to establish our rules as a group to prepare for the week as part of a community. Each camper exemplified The Common Good in their actions towards others at camp, respecting one another and making efforts to ascertain that everyone felt accepted.

See more highlights from Yunasa West 2014!

Mentor Spotlight: Dr. Veronica Eliasson

Dr. Eliasson and her research group, including an IEA Apprentice, during the summer of 2013. “I really like my research group,” Dr. Eliasson told us. “The students become part of my family.”

Dr. Eliasson and her research group, including an IEA Apprentice, during the summer of 2013. “I really like my research group,” Dr. Eliasson told us. “The students become part of my family.”

Dr. Veronica Eliasson
Assistant Professor, Department of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering at University of Southern California
Ph.D., Mechanics, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Research Interests:
Shock wave behavior in gases and liquids, shock wave focusing, fluid-solid interactions

For the last two summers, Dr. Veronica Eliasson has introduced high school students to shock wave research through IEA’s Apprenticeship Program. This program links gifted high school students from across the country with mentors like Dr. Eliasson who advance each participant’s skills through the application of knowledge and exposure to real world experiences. Dr. Eliasson, who will be joining us as an Apprenticeship Mentor again this summer, took some time to talk to us about herself and her experiences.

Describe your educational journey.

My dad always told me I should get a Master’s degree in some kind of engineering area. I kept saying no — but somehow I still ended up with a Master’s degree in Engineering. My dad was right, he knew I had the interest and background to do well in such a program and that there are plenty of opportunities to shape your career any way you like afterwards.

So, when I was 19 I moved to Stockholm to attend KTH (Royal Institute of Technology). I applied to a program in Vehicle Engineering only because of the way their brochure looked (perhaps not the best way to pick your undergraduate/Master program). It had pictures of trains, boats and cars, and I thought it would be very interesting to understand the physics behind how they work. The last year I went in a different direction and specialized in nuclear safety. I thought it was very fascinating to learn more about nuclear fuel plants, how they operate and how to keep them safe. My Master’s thesis was conducted in collaboration with a nuclear fuel company, and when I was done I knew I wanted to attend a PhD program to learn more, not necessarily about nuclear fuel, but something with fluid mechanics. I applied for a PhD position at the Mechanics Department at KTH with a Professor working on shock waves (something I knew very little about). I got the position, and it was the beginning of a very fascinating journey, learning about shock waves through experiments and numerical simulations. It was scary in the beginning not knowing there was a “right” answer at the end, that no one knew ahead of time what the results of the experiments would be. It was very different, and certainly more fun, than taking a course where the correct answers to all questions are displayed at the end of the book.

Read more of our interview with Dr. Eliasson!

13 Highlights from 2013 at IEA

Now that 2013 has come to a close, we wanted to look back on some highlights from the last year. Here are just some of the incredible things that happened at IEA in 2013:

1. We moved into our new home!

Thanks to a generous gift by a longstanding IEA supporter and friend, we are excited to be in our new home!

569 South Marengo Avenue Pasadena, California 91101

569 South Marengo Avenue
Pasadena, California 91101

2. Yunasa was awarded the inaugural NAGC Global Awareness Network Annemarie Roeper Award.

IEA is the first organization to receive the Annemarie Roeper Award presented at the 2013 National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) National Convention by the NAGC Global Awareness Network. The award, in its inaugural year, is presented to one individual and one program “whose efforts further develop global awareness for and by gifted children and those who are concerned with them. Annemarie Roeper, co-founder of the Global Awareness Network, held profound insights into the multifaceted inner world of gifted children and deeply understood the need to foster global awareness to reflect the unique perspectives of gifted children and to respond to their inherent concerns about the world they live in.” We were honored to receive this award and to be in the amazing company of the first individual recipient, Dr. Linda Silverman.

IEA Senior Fellows with Elizabeth Jones (left) and Dr. Linda Silverman with Elizabeth Jones (right)

IEA Senior Fellows with Elizabeth Jones (left) and Dr. Linda Silverman with Elizabeth Jones (right)

See more IEA highlights from 2013!

Genius Day II: William Shakespeare

Genius Day, hosted by IEA’s Academy program, is a day of deep learning that gives students the opportunity to learn and work with an expert in the field as they uncover the contributions of a person we consider a genius.

Our second Genius Day took place on November 23 and was dedicated to the life and work of William Shakespeare. Like our inaugural Genius Day in June focused on Charles Darwin, November’s Genius Day was a great success! Hosted once again at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, we increased the number of spots available, and all were filled. Our delegates, the children, had read and prepared their pre-reading materials and were ready to dig deeper!

Led by Louise Hindle and Independent Shakespeare Company actor and educator Andre Martin, the day of deep learning began with an interrogation into the very concept of genius, then delegates engaged in a scavenger hunt exploring Shakespeare’s social, historical and literary contexts. After lunch, we were fortunate to enjoy a docent tour of the newly refurbished Library Hall and get up close to the First Folio. Thanks to Andre Martin, we closed the day and celebrated mastery through the dramatic exploration of Henry V.

Take a look at some photos from the event!












These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things…

One of the perks of being a gifted individual is an interest in, well, everything!

The IEA staff is a passionate group with many different interests and hobbies, which often lead to very interesting collections. Here are some of the things IEA staff members like to collect:

Zadra: I LOVE notebooks, journals and fountain pens. Lately, I’ve also really gotten into Nail Art. People’s imaginations are so boundless! Pinterest is my favorite place to get new ideas on how to decorate my nails, but YouTube has great tutorials, too. I also enjoy Tarot cards – the decks are the perfect combination of beauty and math!

See what other IEA staff members collect!

Chapter 1: The One Thing Needful – What Is It?

By Louise Hindle

Louise Hindle is IEA’s Academy Coordinator. A British import, Louise graduated from the University of Manchester with a B.A. Honors Degree in English Literature and Language, completed her post-graduate teacher training at The University of Cambridge, and has recently completed her dissertation in Educational Leadership and Innovation with the University of Warwick. Louise has 20 years of experience in education as a high school literature teacher, lead teacher, administrator, adviser, and consultant. IEA’s Academy program, described here, provides elementary and middle school students with challenging enrichment classes that focus on exploration and application of knowledge.

Mr. Gradgrind

Mr. Gradgrind

“Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts….Plant nothing else, and root out everything else… nothing else will ever be of any service,” declares Mr. Gradgrind in Charles Dickens’ novel Hard Times. Gradgrind is, of course, a grotesque parody of all that education shouldn’t be. Ingrained in his face, Gradgrind, like the educational system he advocates, is “inflexible, dry and dictatorial,” demanding only closed-answer responses with absolutely no space to think, let alone enquire. Inexorable in his approach, Gradgrind looks at his room of students and sees “empty vessels,” vessels he must fill to the brim with the facts he determines most useful. The one thing needful in this context is a 19th century industrialized utilitarian view of education: keep it if it’s “useful,” lose it if it’s not, and let’s not think about who decides what’s useful. Furthermore, it’s an educational system where the distance between the teacher and the students is a steadfastly vast unexplored wasteland, devoid of personal interaction, engagement or – dare we say it – enthusiasm for teaching and learning.
Read Louise’s reflections on “the one thing needful” for our bright young minds!

IEA’s Moonlight & Stars Benefit Dinner 2013

A full moon and lovely, clear star-gazing weather at the beautiful home of Kate Duey and Bob Malchione created a stunning backdrop for IEA’s Moonlight & Stars Benefit Dinner on Friday, October 18. The evening celebrated IEA and gifted children and recognized two amazing individuals and longtime IEA Apprenticeship Mentors, Dr. Henri Ford and Mr. Stan Kong.


See highlights from the event!

Announcing the 2013 Caroline D. Bradley Scholars

IEA has named 16 young people from across the country as its 2013 Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship recipients. The Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship annually awards highly gifted and talented students throughout the United States with full four-year scholarships to high schools that best fit their individual intellectual and personal needs.

Of the hundreds of applicants this year, 35 Finalists were chosen by two Scholarship Selection Committees made up of admission directors and school administrators from top secondary schools, colleges and universities across the country. Following extensive personal interviews, 16 of the Finalists were named 2013 Caroline D. Bradley Scholars.

The 2013 Caroline D. Bradley Scholars are:

  • Elyse Cornwall, Wauwatosa, WI
  • Alex Goldberg, Redwood City, CA
  • Sidney Hirschman, San Carlos, CA
  • Isaac Lau, San Francisco, CA
  • Joy Ma, San Ramon, CA
  • Jarett Malouf, Sherman Oaks, CA
  • Ryan Moon, New Hyde Park, NY
  • Grant Morgan, Vail, CO
  • Arin Mukherjee, Princeton, NJ
  • Kathleen O’Neill, Tiburon, CA
  • Molly Pyne-Jaeger, Los Angeles, CA
  • Kevin Sun, Lexington, MA
  • Vinjai Vale, Dallas, TX
  • Andrew Wang, Thousand Oaks, CA
  • Andrew Zerbe, Woodside, CA
  • Isabelle Zheng, Portland, OR

2013 Scholars come from the following middle schools:

  • Del Mar Middle School
  • Jonas Clarke Middle School
  • Los Cerritos Middle School
  • Milwaukee Montessori School
  • The Mirman School
  • New Hyde Park Memorial Junior High School
  • Nueva School
  • The Peak School
  • Princeton Charter
  • St. Brigid School
  • Stoller Middle School
  • Walter Reed Middle School
  • Windemere Ranch Middle School

For more information about the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship, please visit the IEA website.

Looking for Shakespeare? – Try ‘Looking for Shakespeare’ with Andre Martin

By Ellie S. and Charlotte F.

IEA’s Academy program provides young gifted students with challenging enrichment classes that focus on exploration and the application of knowledge. This fall’s Academy session offers a variety of courses, including the new class Looking for Shakespeare, taught by Independent Shakespeare Company actor Andre Martin.

Ellie and Charlotte are 11-year-old Academy students who attended Looking for Shakespeare, an event held by IEA in collaboration with the Independent Shakespeare Company. This is a post Ellie and Charlotte wrote about their experience at this event.

Ellie and Charlotte discuss Shakespeare with actor and Academy instructor Andre Martin

Ellie and Charlotte discuss Shakespeare with Independent Shakespeare Company actor and IEA Academy instructor Andre Martin

A friend of ours involved with IEA invited Charlotte and me, Academy veterans, to a taster for one of IEA’s new fall classes, Looking for Shakespeare. That friend was Louise Hindle, Academy’s new Program Coordinator. The taster was an invite to attend the play As You Like It performed by the Independent Shakespeare Company (or ISC) at Griffith Park last Thursday evening. In addition, as students of Academy, we were able to take a private tour of the backstage area with ISC actor and teacher of the new class, Andre Martin. This was a special treat. After we took the tour, we did a few fun activities with Andre to give us an even better idea of what the class might be like. Andre was very enthusiastic about teaching us, and we all loved learning from him.

The backstage tour was one of the most enjoyable parts of the evening, especially since Charlotte and I share a love of performing Shakespearean scenes. Before the play began, Andre led us all onto the stage and then took us behind the scenes and downstairs to the backstage area, where we could see the actors getting ready, putting on make-up and preparing their costumes. Andre explained some of the plot and introduced the characters from the play. We were lucky enough to meet some of the actors, including the man who played both the evil and benevolent Duke in the production as well as the actor who played Orlando, one of the lovers.

Andre gives Academy students an exclusive backstage tour

Andre gives Academy students an exclusive backstage tour

Following Andre, we left the stage and gathered on the grass for Andre to lead us in an acting game. “Imagine how a kind Duke would walk,” Andre told us. Charlotte, the other students and I walked in circles around Andre, imagining ourselves as a charitable person in authority. “Good,” Andre said. “Now how do you think a lover would walk?” A few of us wandered aimlessly, donning a dreamlike expression, and he laughed. I was beginning to wish my schedule would permit me to take this class…

Andre also led the students in acting games that included walking like different characters

Andre also leads the students in acting games that include walking like different characters

Leading us back to our seats, Andre encouraged us to pay careful attention during the play and kindly offered to answer questions or confer with him during intermission. As Charlotte and I took our seats and waited for the play to begin, we started to chat about our activities with Andre. We both agreed that Andre’s class would be an amazing and informative class to take. We also conversed about some of the things we had already learned with Andre. He had explained to us the plot of the play and quizzed us on the characters. We also got to hear his insights and opinions on certain parts of the play, such as the famous “Seven Ages of Man” speech and the fascinating character, Touchstone. We both took pleasure in hearing and learning about all of these things. Andre was very fun and energetic while he taught and was excited when we expressed our love for and experience with Shakespeare.

Once the play started, we were immediately pulled into its plot. The skilled actors captured our attention with their life-like portrayal of emotions and character traits. Soon, we noticed the different styles of the costumes used to represent the differing groups in the play. The courtiers dressed in elegant, fancy dresses and suits, while the forest exiles were dressed in more practical clothing for their setting. Also, the characters traveling into the forest wore clothes they thought would be suitable but were not and so they had to change identity.

Both Charlotte and I appreciated the depth of the production. When it was over, we thanked Louise and Andre for inviting us to the inspiring performance. Any kid taking Andre’s class in the Fall will surely enjoy it, we thought. As for this special taster event: now that night was one we would never forget.

Interested in Academy classes for gifted Kindergarten – 8th graders? The fall session starts September 21. Sign up today!

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Meet Min-Ling and Louise!

We are excited to announce that we have two new additions to our IEA staff! Louise Hindle and Min-Ling Li have both been involved with IEA and our programs before and have recently joined the team as Program Coordinators. Get to know more about these amazing individuals who will be leading some of our programs this year!

Learn about Min-Ling and Louise!