For student scientists, the National Maple Syrup Festival was a learning experience.
Brown County visitors adopted and tapped downtown maple trees Feb. 27. When they left, Wendy Weddle’s seventh-grade science class stepped in.
Green buckets, measuring pitchers, thermometers and sap hydrometers in hand, the students measured the sap water from the trees, the water’s sugar quantity and the temperature each day this week.
Production updates were sent to Tap the Town participants.
“If it’s zero, that means there’s no sugar quantity, which means there’s no sap and means it’s just water,” student Keaton Hayes explained.
“The higher number, the better, because you need, like, a higher number for the syrup,” Kaylen Combest added.
“Look how clear this is. Remember how orange it was? It was like rust,” Assistant Principal Gavin Steele pointed out, after students finished checking a maple tree on Gould Street.
“Clear is the best quantity. If it’s absolute clear, that means there’s a lot of sugar,” Hayes said.
The sap water will be used in demonstrations at Brown County State Park during the two-day festival, beginning tomorrow.