When kids are making their own maple syrup, they are making edible gold! Third graders from Seabrook schools in New Hampshire had the opportunity to watch raw maple sap be boiled down into syrup. Teacher Kate Belanger introduced them to Seabrook Farm to School Coordinator Katie Mallow, who explained the process, and how it is worth money.
The year long Farm to School program taps maple trees on school property and is funded by a $42,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant. Students also have been planting and selling cash crops, and growing nutritious produce for the lunch room.
The maple syrup project is one that teaches practical math and science, as children learnhow to tap the maples, and cleared the trail. But the science concepts were what fascinated the kids.
“So, when you boil the sap, the water in it turns to steam,” student Gabe Dow said to Malloy, “and the maple sugar is left?”
Yes, Malloy confirmed. That is evaporation.
“There are still trees in New Hampshire that are being tapped today that were first tapped for syrup when (George) Washington was president,” Malloy answered. “Imagine that!”