Gatewood scholars learn the science behind brewing maple syrup

Teacher helps two students use hand saw to cut firewood.

Our students at Gatewood Elementary were brewing something sweet earlier this week. After tapping the sugar maple trees near the playground earlier this month, students learned how to make maple syrup from the sap.

On Wednesday, Gatewood scholars spent the day cooking the sap down to make maple syrup. Students, teachers and volunteers didn’t let the rain stop them from engaging in the outdoor learning experience. A tent was set up with multiple learning stations to teach them the process. There were hand drills to practice drilling into trees to get the sap out, hand saws to get firewood, a log splitting station, and more.

Gatewood teacher James Ikhaml took the lead on planning the day. He said that all grade levels were engaging in lesson plans that covered the science of maple syrup making in the weeks leading up to the outdoor experience.

Ikhaml was happy to see how much fun students were having as they experienced maple syrup making first hand. They were engaged in the activities even in the midst of a rainy day.

“Hopefully they remember the science behind it because we pre-taught that, but they are going to remember the experience and be able to tie the two together,” Ikhaml said.