Above: SEEDS EcoSchool students have fun outside while their freshly harvested sap boils at the sugar shack at Forest Area Middle School.
SEEDS EcoSchool is making maple syrup and memories!
SEEDS EcoSchool at Forest Area Middle School is getting students outside and learning through a very place-based activity: maple sugaring. Their 30-acre school forest and recently built sugar shack make an incredible hands-on classroom! Students participate in the entire process. They identify the Sugar Maple trees, tap them, empty the buckets, boil the sap, and label the bottles. They learn about math, science, botany, nutrition, local history, and teamwork.
“Our students practice math by estimating the sugar content of their sap and how much syrup they will get from it. They learn about why and how sap runs and the chemical reaction of boiling sap into syrup. Most importantly, we get them outside and having fun while learning!” – SEEDS EcoSchool Site Coordinator Joe Kreider
Above: SEEDS EcoSchool students Alex and Ella tap a tree with Site Coordinator Joe Kreider during a family event.
SEEDS EcoSchool brought back maple sugaring to the school district, which used to be a staple of the curriculum in the eighties. The new sugar shack was built in the summer of 2020, and it’s where SEEDS EcoSchool students learn about maple sugaring after school. Read more about bringing back the sugar shack to Forest Area Community Schools here.
“Making maple syrup is a really fun and hands-on way for students to learn about what makes their community special and to sneak some math and science in at the same time.” – SEEDS EcoSchool Program Director Sandy Ehlers
The sugar shack was in the news! Read it here!