Young Scholars Program at John Winthrop Middle School:


Mock Trial:

Starting in September and running through December, students can join the Mock Trial Activity which meets weekly on "B" days. This is a two quarter activity. The case and rules are available online at the link below.

John Winthrop Newspaper:

A student produced newspaper, this year called "The Scoop", with senior editors, news editors, feature editors, sports editors, reporters, photographers, cartoonists, art directors and proofreaders. Newspapers are published five to six times a year for John Winthrop students.


Debate starts in January and is a two quarter activity. Students can also meet during writing class. Starting in the 3rd Quarter, they can meet during Activity on "B" days. Each year, the debate organization chooses a topic/resolve to debate. This year it is: The United States should amend the Constitution to allow foreign born citizens to serve as President." Students must debate both affirmative and negative sides of the issue. John Winthrop usually hosts one of the regional competitions and the semi-finals and finals are held in a court room in Connecticut.

FOX61 and CTNow Student News:

Write and film a 90 second story (see detailed format on their website) and submit it to Student News. Stories accepted will be posted online. In addition to the 90 second video story, students must also include a 200 word story, internet links to support the story, and a photo gallery. Students at John Winthrop have produced stories on the Essex Steam Train, a rare black bull born in East Lyme, White Gate Farm, the solar panels on JW, the Connecticut River, Forgotten Felines, Essex FIre Engine #1, and Ashleigh's Aviary.

First Lego League:

John Winthrop normally has two FLL teams. One composed of seventh graders and one composed of eighth graders. There are only ten members allowed on a team. Students get the parts to the year's competition in early September. They build the challenges the first week of school and by the second week the official challenge is announced on the website. Students have until mid-November to construct a robot to accomplish about twenty tasks in two and one half minutes.

In addition to the robot portion of the First Lego League competition, students must research and present a project they have developed on the season's theme. In 2012, the topic was "Senior Solutions". For the 2013 season, the research topic is "Natural Disasters".

The regional competition is held all day at the Lyme-Old Lyme High School for the traditional "Bash-at-the-Beach" on a Saturday in late November. The State Competition is held on a Sunday in mid December at CCSU.

Math Counts!:

Starting in September, students can sign up for this activity which lasts two quarters. Students meet during activity "A" weekly. In preparation for the competition at the Coast Guard Academy each winter, the JWMS Math Counts will travel to Haddam-Killingworth Middle School in January for a fun competition and pizza lunch. On a Saturday in early February, the JWMS team and individual team members will travel to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT for the Eastern Regional competition. The State Competition is held at the University of Hartford on a Saturday in mid-March.

Independent Study:

Students meet individually with Ms. Nidz and develop an independent study project based on student interest. These projects are long term and can cover projects relating to math, science, writing, robots, computer programming, video production, and many other areas.

John Winthrop Morning Show:

Every morning, students get to JW early and produce a news show broadcast live to each classroom. We have student anchors, weather, world news, and even a science Friday! Both seventh and eighth graders are involved and guest anchors are rotated in to the show weekly.

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