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 2 Maple syrup as a study of….

Growth and changes in animals (Humans need to protect animals and the places where they live.)

How might the production of making maple syrup impact animals and the places they live?

  • Strategies for minimal impact (tap only trees that are large enough so that they remain healthy, humans stay on wood chipped trails, no use     of pesticides on site).
  • Dead trees are left on the forest floor to create animal habitat, decompose naturally.  
  •  At Forest Valley biodiversity is encouraged with many tree species in the sugar bush.

Movement and simple machines (Simple machines and mechanisms make life easier and/or more enjoyable.)

How are simple machines used when making maple syrup?

  • 6 simple machines in use for producing maple syrup: 1st class lever - yoke, 2nd class lever - bucket lid, inclined plane- tubing, pulley- sugar shack steam vents, wheel and axle - wagon, screw- drill and bit, wedge- spile
  • Mechanisms (e.g. wagon to collect sap, etc.)                                                                                                                                               
  • How do humans collect and move sap? (Movement is a change in position of an object.)
    Humans use a variety of simple machines to collect and move sap (e.g. tubes, buckets, spiles, tractors, yokes, horse and sleigh, human force, etc.
  • Sap also moves up and down the tree with changes in temperature.

Properties of liquids and solids (Materials that exist as liquids and solids have specific properties)

How might sap change through the production of maple syrup?

  • Once the buds on the tree form, the taste of sap changes.
  • Sap left in buckets in warm weather starts to change and can’t be used (spoiled).
  • Sap is liquid that is slightly sweet, clear, somewhat sticky and pours
  • Sap can be liquid or solid in the bucket depending on temperature.
  • Water is evaporated from the sap as it is boiled.
  • As the sugar in the sap caramelizes, the sap changes colour from clear to a brownish/gold colour.
  • Maple syrup that is boiled further can turn into solid sugar.
  • Maple syrup, is sticky, thick and sweet, can pour, and varies in colour from light brown to a darker brown colour. (Extra light maple syrup is very light golden, amber maple syrup is darker brown.)
  • Maple sugar is usually a darker brown colour, it’s a solid, can’t be poured and is very sweet.