After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Patrick’s welcomed seven area Episcopal schools to participate in the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal Schools Association (MAESA) Scholars Fair on Friday, April 29. The MAESA Fair draws together students from Episcopal schools around the region to compete in a range of categories including spelling, geography, art (two- and three-dimensional), science, and technology. Schools send participants and judges to the host school to display the strength of learning and growth that takes place in Episcopal schools.
This year, St. Patrick’s participants were Matilda E., Fifi M-R. (first place), Serafina W., Anna P., Ella K. (second place), and Sisi K. (third place) for art; Andrew K. (second place), Elliot R. (third place), Graham S., and Cubby D. for the geography bee; Elliot C-P., Lillie C. (second place), Christopher S. (first place), and Ari M-R. (third place) for spelling bee; and Everett H. (second place for Grades 4-6 creative project), Kaleb I. (second place for Grades 4-6 informative presentation), Kamden H. (third place for Grades 7 and 8 informative presentation), and Sophia T. (second place for Grades 7 and 8 creative project) for technology.
Matilda enjoyed connecting with St. Patrick’s students from a variety of grade levels. “We had more people to support us,” she said. Kaleb remarked that he also appreciated meeting students from other schools. “It was fun to talk to other people. Teddy (from St. Albans) was very funny. When he invented the soda blaster, it was very cool.” “It was exciting to see people from the Episcopal community coming together,” said Fifi.
In addition to the competitions, the MAESA Fair provides an opportunity for students across schools to work together in spaces such as the design challenge rooms, where three spaces invited collaboration in building robotic drawing tools, large marble runs, and newspaper book holders. The new design challenges enhanced the student experience. They made the event more student-centered, as the structured competitions paired with the open design challenges across the day kept students engaged and enabled them to interact socially.
St. Patrick’s alumna Katherine Owens, who returned to campus as a faculty chaperone for participating students from Washington Episcopal School, rejoiced that St. Patrick’s was the school that had the opportunity to restore the tradition of the MAESA Fair. Katherine fondly remembered Book Fairs in the Great Hall and, at this year’s fair, delighted in “the hum of excitement in the science fair” and “the enthusiasm and chatter of students gathering for lunch at picnic tables on a beautiful April day.” She appreciated “the joy of youth and the possibilities ahead of them.”
St. Patrick’s will have the pleasure of hosting the MAESA Fair again in the spring of 2023!