GW School Maple Trees providing Maple Syrup for E1 classes, with Help from Maple Ridge Community.

 

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The GW Montessori School has 4 enormous Sugar Maple trees (Acer saccharum) on the property.  Many of the E1 classrooms are tapping into their sap and making maple syrup.

Mr. Tom’s class began the process by drilling the trees, inserting the spiel, and collecting the sap in a bucket.  His class is studying plants this marking period and applied their knowledge of the parts of plants to understand the process.  They  learned that the sap runs in late winter when the warm days and cold nights tell the tree the spring is coming and that the tree is sending sugar to the branches to get ready to make leaves.

Mr. Tom’s class collected 5 gallons of sap, but instead of boiling it themselves, enlisted the help of Dave Kaiser at the Maple Ridge Community in Ulster Park.  As the name implies, Maple Ridge has lots of maples, and operate a sugar shack in conjunction with their elementary school to make syrup.  Mr. Tom brought the sap to Maple Ridge, where it was turned into syrup.  The 5 gallons of sap only produces 1/40 the amount of syrup, one pint.  However the Steve, who runs the Sugar Shack at Maple Ridge, gave Tom’s class a quart of syrup, which they intend to use on green waffles they will be having on St. Patrick’s Day, in conjunction with the reading of “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Miss Julie’s class has taken over the collection process, followed by other E1 classrooms.  It is great for the students to see where their food actually comes from.