Van Buren District School Maple Syrup Project

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 10:54 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn


Students of Van Buren District School have been tapping into a pretty sweet lesson over the last few months. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has the story.

“So at lunch one day a group of us started talking about it and this is the idea we came up with.”

The high school students of Laurie Spooner, a teacher at Van Buren District School have been working on a project through the winter. Learning how to make Maple Syrup.

“I think initially they were a little surprised but they’ve gotten used to me and there’s a lot of times that I will come up with things that they’re not really sure why their doing them and they seem to work out in the end.” says Spooner.

The project was made possible by a mini grant by the Maine Environmental Education Association aimed at getting kids learning about the outdoors. Many of the students had never made maple syrup before and recounted their experiences of learning the process while the group collected sap.

“I was responsible for coming out here, putting the taps in the trees, getting it all working. As soon as you start drilling a hole in the tree the sap just starts flowing right out, almost instantly it’s pretty crazy.” says Addion Davis – Junior, Van Buren District School .

“Trying to collect the sap and not letting it spill all over the ground” says Elijaah Parent – Sophomore, Van Buren District School.

“The most difficult part was probably the boiling process because the shop class had to make a specific channeling bucket so that it can boil properly.” says Gabriella Berube – Sophomore, Van Buren District School.

Senior Aiden Soucy custom built the boiler using his welding skills from shop class, designed to separate the sugars as the sap boiled.

“It’s pretty interesting watching the whole process and watching it come from a tree to syrup, it’s pretty cool” says Soucy.

“A lot of them are saying they want to do this later on, by themselves which is great! It’s something they took in, they learned and they’re going to use it” says Joey Ouellette – Machine Tool and Welding Instructor, Van Buren Regional Tech Center.

But it wasn’t just the high schoolers digging into this sweet but sticky project, students from Pre-K up also got a tour of the production process, sampled some sap, and even contributed to an art project displayed by the schools Main entrance of a maple tree.

“We want to get a few more taps, a few more buckets, we want this to be an annual thing” says Spooner.

Spooner went on to say that some of the syrup produced would go to the students who took part in the project.

“It tastes real good” says Parent.

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8