Through Maryvale's annual Mini-Mester, each Middle School student has an opportunity for hands-on discovery while enjoying a concentrated exploration into an area of interest led by faculty, staff, students or community volunteers.

The program is consistent with our Middle School philosophy to provide opportunities for our students to try something new, expand upon their gifts and share skills with one another. From Robotics and Pottery to Veterinary Science, students investigate new possibilities and uncover areas where their passions and talents may lie!

Maryvale Mini-Mester
Maryvale Mini-Mester
Maryvale Mini-Mester

2018-19 Mini-Mester: "Celebrating our Cultures"

Tuesday, Dec. 18 - Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018

During this three-day learning and interactive experience, Maryvale's Middle Schoolers took a deep dive into many different cultures of the world. Here's a glimpse of everything that the girls learned!

Tuesday, Dec. 18

African Masks: A major component of African culture, students will be learned about and designed their own masks with Mrs. Coyle, our sixth grade Ancient Civilizations teacher. They selected several symbols to paint on their masks, depicting their own personal “stories” on the masks themselves.

Aikido: Under the leadership of two skilled Aikido instructors and Maryvale faculty members, students practiced and enjoyed learning this Japanese martial art.

Biodiversity: We are bringing Science into the Mini-Mester experience, too! Mrs. Krueger and Dr. Snavely led a session focused on the ways in which humans impact the ecosystem and the biodiversity of different species. They also visited Tilly the Terrapin, a Terrapin Hatchling being raised on Maryvale’s campus by the Upper School Biology class.

French Cuisine & Culture: Bon appetite! Led by Mrs. Wesolowski, students explored the French culture by making and enjoying crepes, a popular treat in France.

Irish Culture: An avid traveler and artist, Mrs. Fitzgibbon led an art activity rooted in Irish culture in which the students designed Celtic letters.

Italian Sports & Culture: Bocceis is a very popular sport in Italy. In this session, students gathered in small teams to play this sport and learn about its significance in Italian culture.

West African Dance: Our dance teacher, Ms. Polanowski, worked with our students in learning the choreography to a West African dance. A brief introduction to how dance finds meaning in West African culture began the session, followed by a step-by-step instructional piece led by Ms. Polanowski.

Wednesday, Dec. 19

For the last hour of the morning on Wednesday, students explored one-hour “specialty” sessions.

Aikido: The students deepened their understanding of this Japanese Martial Art form.

Asian Cuisine & Cultures: Students joined Peggy, owner of Greenleaf Restaurant in Hunt Valley, in learning about Asian culture and cooking, especially in the making of wontons.

Photography: Students explored sun printing, a special art form that uses the sun in its development.

SEWFabulous: A skilled instructor from SEWFabulous Sewing School, Margaret, joined Maryvale Middle School students in designing and sewing a bag to take home. Each bag depicted the student’s individuality and showcase her unique characteristics.

Videography: Students worked with Mrs. DeVan in compiling footage of this year's Mini-Mester experience into a montage to show the school community.

West African Dance: Students learned a full routine and performed it for the school community thereafter.

Thursday, Dec. 20

The entire Middle School community gathered on Thursday to interact with guest speakers, participate in activities and share their findings from their explorations related to this year's Mini-Mester theme, "Celebrating our Cultures."