Students learn the full process of sugaring at Killington
By Robin Alberti
KILLINGTON — Every year the fourth graders at Killington Elementary school get to experience an important part of our state’s history, culture and economy: maple sugaring. The school is equipped with a sugar shack and evaporator to boil sap into syrup. All the kids at KES look forward to this project when they get to the fourth grade.
The Mountain Times went to the school last week to capture the kids as they learn the process of turning maple sap to syrup. The students are involved with the entire process, from tapping trees to tasting the finished product. Hands-on learning at its finest.
Vermont’s maple industry contributed between $317 and $330 million in total sales to the state’s economy each year, according to a study conducted by the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Vermont is the largest maple producer in the United States, accounting for 42 percent of production.
The kids had a great time learning to tap trees and boil sap into syrup, while they learned skills in agriculture, science, math, economics and history. In addition to it being “fun,” KES fourth grader Alexis Fuster said they learned about measuring, Jacob Roth’s favorite part is the smell of sap boiling and Quinn Stickney said likes being able to taste the sap as it boils down into syrup.