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Senior Project – Maple Syrup Evaporator

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What was your ‘Essential Question’?
My essential question was, “How do I construct a fully functional maple syrup evaporator from scratch?”

What excited you about this topic?
What excited me about this project was being able to have the ability to boil more syrup at a time and boil it faster than I have been able to before.

maple-syrup-evaporatorWhat were the most challenging aspects of your work?
The most challenging aspects of my work were smoothing down the rough metal edges from the cuts I made with the angle grinder. The edges were razor sharp and to sand them down smooth was difficult because it would cut right through heavy-duty abrasive sand paper. What I ended up doing was hammering the edges as flat and smooth as possible, and then using the sandpaper to finish it off.

What were the most gratifying aspects of your work?
The most gratifying aspect of my work is that I built it myself starting from nothing but a 55 gallon metal barrel.

When you look back on Senior Project, what will be your best memory?
My best memory from senior project is when I picked up the 55-gallon steel drum with my friend Justin from a home in downtown Haverhill at night. Google maps said we arrived and the address was on our right. The man’s driveway was gated off though, and with limited space on the road to park, I turned left and pulled into a parking lot. Apparently the parking lot was “controlled” by a small biker gang of about 5 big old guys covered in tattoos who immediately became aggravated by our presence. One barked at us about what we were doing in their parking lot. We told them we were looking for a man named George who sold steel barrels and immediately they relaxed, recognizing the name. They said he was a great guy and a good friend of theirs, which ended up being true. We got the barrel and made it home alive, so the night went well.

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