Lowville students enjoy hands-on maple syrup class

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 5:58 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - Lowville Academy and Central School students will have a new answer when asked, “What did you learn in school today”. It’s a lesson that goes from tap to table.

“I had one parent stop in and she said, ‘My son hates coming to school, but ever since you’ve been doing the maple trailer, he loves coming to school because you guys are out there collecting sap, you’re doing things. It gives him a reason to come to school now,” said Melvin Phelps, CTE Department Chair.

A state-of-the-art trailer allows the students to take learning into their own hands. Literally. Kids from sixth grade to senior year get to learn how to make maple syrup from the tap to the table.

“Mr. Phelps told us about it last year, and he’s been talking about it for two years now. I was, like, okay, we’ll see, we’ll see. Then he finally brought the trailer and it all became so real, like we’re actually going to do this, and actually make an impact,” said sophomore Faith Diddle.

“I never did anything with maple syrup before. It was a fun experiment for me because it was my first time doing anything like this,” said sophomore Jada Hellinger.

“It’s good to have hands-on learning because you can’t get everything, you can’t get all of the knowledge out of a textbook. You have to be there, you have to think about, okay, so that’s how this is done,” said junior Garrett Phelps.

Students from five different areas of study are taking part in the maple-making process. The classes are designed to help students prepare to run their own businesses after graduation. Students are also learning how to make other maple products like maple cream and candies.

“I think my teacher really inspired me. She lets us do the hands-on learning aspect of it. She’s letting us do the maple floss, the maple creamer, the maple candy. I think my favorite part is probably the maple floss,” said senior Quinn Cumming.

The trailer was donated to the school by a former student. As for the current crop of kids, they say they’re excited to have a new answer for when their parents ask what they learned in school today.

“I’m not really big on the whole sit down and learn. So, being able to come out here and do that is much more fun than sitting at a desk,” said Diddle.