Maple Syrup Science

Program Length, Season and Appropriate Grade Levels

  • This program lasts 1-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours, and can be adapted to suit your needs.
  • The program is offered mid-February to mid-March..
  • Appropriate for Grade Levels pre-K–12.

Program Description and Activities

In the program we will investigate the tools and techniques of making maple syrup, along with the plant physiology and seasonal changes in this region that make maple syrup production possible.

Your students will be engaged in a multifaceted program experience that may include:

  • Exploring forest habitat where we tap the trees to make maple syrup.
  • Using the techniques of tree identification to identify the proper trees for making maple syrup.
  • Examining cross sections of trees with microscopes to see parts of the tree including xylem, phloem, cambium, and heartwood.
  • Using science instruments to gather and record data from “study trees” to determine: sap volume; sugar concentration; the relationship between soil temperature, moisture, and daily sap flow.
  • Entering the sap data onto a graph.
  • Seeing actual sap from the trees being prepared into maple syrup in an outdoor sap evaporator (“sap stove”).
  • Tasting a small sample of delicious UM-Dearborn produced maple syrup!

State of Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs) and High School Content Expectations (HSCEs) Applicable to this Program

The Environmental Interpretive Center’s educational programs provide environmental information, hands–on experiences, and inquiry challenges for Michigan students in line with Michigan’s Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs) and High School Essential Content Standards and Expectations (HSCEs). Teachers can find a link below to content standards, statements, and grade level expectations applicable to the program "Maple Syrup Science ."