Maple Syrup


This program is ONLY AVAILABLE February 19th, 2019 - April 5th, 2019.  Schools are chosen on a rotating basis.


The maple syrup program at Forest Valley is offered during the early spring when the ground is starting to thaw and the maple sap is flowing.  Classes who are participating in the maple syrup programming have the opportunity to explore, investigate and take part in this unique Canadian experience.    This is a cross-curricular program which addresses components of STEM, Eco-literacy and Aboriginal Education.

In Grade 1 Maple Syrup can be used as a study of…. 

Needs & Characteristics of Living Things (All living things are important and should be treated with care & respect.) How can we show care and respect for the environment when we make maple syrup? 
• Tap only trees that are large enough.
• Stay on trails to protect tree roots and young trees.
• Do not use pesticides.
• Use renewable sources of energy.
• Leave dead trees on forest floor.
• Create animal habitat.
• Care for all trees.
• Tap each tree according to size (if a tree is only big enough for one bucket, do not use 2!).
• Tap trees properly so that they can heal themselves. 

Materials, Objects and Everyday Structures (An object is held together by its structure.) How are structures used in making maple syrup? 
• The spile allows sap to be extracted from the tree.
• A bucket lid is used to keep precipitation and dirt out of buckets.
• Plastic tubes are flexible and hollow.
• The buckets, holding tank and evaporator are made out of steel to be strong and rigid to hold the weight of the sap.
• The evaporator is made of steel so it won’t burn when heated up.
• The sugar shack encloses the evaporator to conserve energy, has steam vents to allow steam to escape. 

Energy in Our Lives (The sun is the principle source of energy for the earth.) How is energy used to make maple syrup?
• The Sun’s energy is collected by leaves through photosynthesis to makes sugar which is stored in a tree.
• Human ‘muscle’ energy is used to collect sap. o Energy from burning wood is used to boil sap in the evaporator.
• Energy from electricity on stove to make maple sugar candy.

Daily and Seasonal Changes (Changes in daily and seasonal cycles affect all living things.) How do changing seasons lead to the production of maple syrup?
• Each spring, buds burst open with leaves. The leaves start absorbing sunlight so that the tree can make its own food.
• In summertime the tree continues photosynthesizing to produce its own food and grow more in this season than any other season.
• In the fall the tree loses its leaves and as the weather gets cooler it stores some of the sugars in the trunk and roots.
• In the winter the tree is dormant until the very end of the season when warm days and cold nights cause sap to start flowing up to the tree top.
• Maple syrup season begins when the sugar dissolved in water (sap) moves up the tree through the sapwood to develop the buds. It ends when the sap reaches the buds, as the sap then takes on a bitter or buddy taste.
• To get maple sap we need nights with temperatures below freezing and warm days – typically only in late winter and early spring