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Thứ Hai, 23 tháng 3, 2015

Middletown fourth-graders drill for sap 'like old times' - Middletown Press

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Van Buren Moody Elementary School fourth-grader Eric Wilson pours sap into a bucket as it begins to boil into maple syrup. Brian Zahn — The Middletown Press

Van Buren Moody Elementary School fourth-grader Annabelle Bennett pours sap into a bucket as it begins to boil. Brian Zahn — The Middletown Press

MIDDLETOWN >> Fourth-graders at Van Buren Moody Elementary School learned how much hard work goes into making syrup this month, as school officials had them drill for and collect sap over the course of two weeks.

Principal Yolande Eldridge said she wanted the students to experiment with extracting sap from the Norway Maple trees in the drive leading in to the school after sap icicles began to form from the newly trimmed branches. This is the first time the school has had students collect sap to boil into maple syrup, Eldridge said.

The fourth-graders initially set out to collect 50 gallons of sap, which produces the equivalent of one gallon of maple syrup, Eldridge said, but the ideal conditions for sap production — cold nights and days above freezing — ended this week, leaving the students with approximately 30 gallons of sap.

Many of the students were excited to share what they had learned and the things that surprised them.


“I learned that a lot of the sap from the trees, when we boil it, we only get a little bit of syrup,” said student Kaitlin O’Connell.

Student Eric Wilson said he learned this was because there’s more water in sap than sugar. Specifically, sap is about 2 percent sugar.

“The tree has to be at least 10 inches wide,” said student Antonio Shippee-Lopez.

Student Lauren Co said she learned the tree also must be at least 50 years old to produce sap.

Other students were merely surprised to see what sap looked like when extracted from a tree.

“I didn’t know sap could do that,” said student Nicholas Edward.

Student Amani Burnham said he was amazed at how much sap came out of the trees.

When asked what the best use for syrup was, students were split down the middle on whether syrup goes best on pancakes or waffles.

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