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Windward Launches Dynamic Middle School Scholars Program


Windward School is excited to announce an interdisciplinary program for select 7th and 8th graders called Middle School Scholars. The Middle School Scholars program provides a dynamic opportunity for participating students to go beyond the expectations of the curriculum and engage in a deeper, interdisciplinary study of an area of interest. Participating students can earn a Middle School Scholars Certificate for their work in a field of their choice.

The available fields include STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math), Leadership & Civic Engagement, and Humanities & Arts. Students who successfully complete this year-and-a-half long program will be recognized as Middle School Scholars in a ceremony in May of their 8th grade year.

The Middle School Scholars Program requires students to complete an action research project. The project consists of:
  • Research: Students, with the help of an advisor, must choose an area within their field of study to investigate further. During this research process, students will (1) propose a question to research, and (2) find, gather, and analyze information and evidence that relates to their research question. This part of the action research project culminates in a significant piece of writing that will be included in the student’s portfolio.
  • Outreach: Based on their research, students must engage in work beyond the Windward community. Outreach might include community service, shadowing a professional who works in the field of study, fieldwork, etc. After completing the outreach component, students will complete a piece of reflective writing that will be included in the portfolio.
  • Action Project: Each student will design and complete a culminating project that addresses one of the central challenges, problems, issues, or topics that the student has uncovered through his/her outreach and research.
  • Portfolio: Students must complete an e-portfolio of their work that includes a journal of the work related to their work, reflections on their outreach work, research, reflections on their action projects, and other documents related to their work. Each step of project requires reflection as the student progresses through the project.
  • Presentation: Each student will present his/her portfolio in a formal oral presentation to a panel of Middle School faculty, staff and administrators. Students will also showcase their project to the wider community at the Middle School Scholars Night.
Please visit the Middle School Scholars web page for a full description, relevant deadlines, and the application.

As Director of Middle School Eric Mandel notes, "the program is rigorous and will require students to be self-motivated, organized, and responsible. We encourage students to consider the Scholars Program if they are looking for a challenge and/or if they have a particular topic or area about which they want to learn."

The Middle School Scholars Committee is wide-ranging and crosses departments: Eric Mandel, Director of Middle School; Ann-Marie Hobbs, Middle School Dean of Students; Larisa Showalter, Co-Director of Windward Center for Teaching and Learning; Cindy Beals, Director of Windward STEAM Program; and Eryn Hoffman, Co-Director of Windward Institute/Director of Global Programs.