Houlton High School students learn about sap

11 years ago

The Houlton High School biology class in conjunction with the outdoor education class, attempted to boil sap at the Sugar House on the Bird Farm, but a large evaporator and a late start at collecting sap made it hard to get finished product from the evaporator.

LOOKING CLOSELY — Houlton High School biology students, from left, Chris Kenney, Sarah Heath and Amber Ivey take a close look at how the sap runs through the boiler.

The wood fire was put to the boiler, and the 200 gallons of sap was pre-boiled reducing its volume to approximately 50 gallons of concentrated sap.
“By pre-boiling the 200 gallons of sap, we were able to produce almost five gallons of syrup using a turkey frier,” said  Dr. Michael Hannigan,  biology teacher.
Students have been collecting for sap for the last month as part of a class project. The biology students have studied photosynthesis, which is the biochemical process used by trees to produce the sugars found in sap.
“This real world link to a complex biochemical process has proven fun and educational for the students,” added Hannigan.

WAITING — Houlton High School biology students look over the boiler system used for making maple syrup at the Sugar House on the Bird Farm at Houlton High School. Checking out the process are, from left, Dan Herman, Chris Kenney,  Logan Winslow, Allen Lord,  Amber Ivey, Sarah Heath, teachers Todd Willard and Dr. Michael Hannigan.
The syrup that was produced by the students at Houlton High School is available at the school for $5 for a half pint. Proceeds made will go toward equipment for the sugar shack, such as a refractometer, which is needed to legally call the product maple syrup.