NYS/ Maple Foundation announces second annual “Schoolyard Sugaring” Contest

Press release

The New York State Maple Foundation, in partnership with the New York Agriculture in the Classroom (NYAITC) Program, is proud to present the second annual Schoolyard Sugaring Contest – a maple syrup contest for classrooms across the state. Using science, social studies, math, and English, students will learn the process of making syrup – from collecting sap and boiling it into maple syrup to the history behind this time-honored New York State tradition. In 2017, the first year of the Contest, 103 classrooms participated, engaging over 2,400 students.

(Photo: Sauquoit Valley Elementary, winner for Elementary Division of 2017 photo contest)

Finished maple syrup for each division (elementary, middle school and high school) will be scored for taste, clarity, and color by a panel of maple experts this May. The syrup with the highest score in each division wins a $250 prize. Last year’s winners include Wells Central School’s third grade class that paired with County Cabin Maple Syrup in Hamilton County, Attica Middle School that paired with A+A Maple in Wyoming County, and Stockbridge Valley FFA led by Ms. Erin McCaffrey in Madison County.

A photo contest is also planned. 2017 winners were Sauquoit Valley, Malone Middle School, and OCM BOCES.
Delaware Academy was one of the schools that participated in the 2017 Contest. Delaware Academy teacher Mark Kline said, “The students learned actively. There are many science, mathematics, and technology concepts related to making maple syrup that the students learned.”

Each registered classroom receives grade-specific lessons, a book on maple sugaring, and an official contest Taste the Tradition™ maple half-pint jug donated by Sugarhill Container, a division of Hillside Plastics, to package their finished product. Sign-ups for the 2018 contest continue through February 14. The Maple Foundation is pairing any classroom that signs-up and requests assistance with a maple farmer in their area.

Michelle Barber, a teacher at Attica Central School said, “My high school students gained so much leadership experience during the Schoolyard Sugaring project. Watching this group grow during the project has been amazing.”

For more information on Schoolyard Sugaring contact NYAITC director Katie Carpenter at kse45@cornell.edu. The project is funded in part through a grant from Farm Credit East’s AgEnhancement program. Other funding is provided by maple producers that use Taste the Tradition™ branded syrup jugs, purchased through local maple sugaring supply dealers.

The New York State Maple Foundation is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Its mission is to plan and coordinate training for maple producers to increase their efficiency and competitiveness, and to identify and support maple-related research. The foundation also works to inform and educate the public of the diversity and quality of the state’s maple products, of how the industry has changed in NYS throughout the years and the environmental sensitivity needed to maintain a healthy sugar bush during maple production.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *