Jay Griffith's senior project is going to be sweet -- literally.

Jay Griffith's senior project is going to be sweet -- literally.

The New Albany High School senior plans to learn how to make maple syrup straight from the tree for his science alternative senior project.

"Everything today is becoming more and more reusable," Griffith said. "You need to be sustainable. I'm not really going to grow crops, but making maple syrup is fun and natural."

Griffith said he chose his project primarily because it seemed fun, but he said he thinks he'll learn an unusual and valuable skill in the process.

"Me and my sister were sitting there, and we were trying to think of something that would be fun," Griffith said. "I wanted it to be something I still would enjoy, and we tossed around a couple of ideas, and maple syrup came up. We thought it was really fun -- an actual project and something I would enjoy doing."

Thus far, Griffith, who plays varsity soccer and lacrosse at NAHS, said he is in the research phase and has learned about how maple syrup actually is produced.

"Right now I'm trying to figure out what all I need to do and when the season is I need to tap," he said. "It's really in depth with the sugar content per molecule."

He said trees usually are tapped for their sap in late winter or early spring, when the high temperature is about 50 degrees during the day and 20 degrees at night.

"The sap needs to start moving in the tree for it to run," Griffith said.

He also said it takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup.

Griffith said he plans to tap about six trees and possibly produce about 100 gallons of syrup by the end of his project in May.

He said he is going to tap either the trees in Swickard Woods or on his family's 35-acre property in the Hocking Hills.

He plans to buy the tap but make the barrel and hosing himself in keeping with the environment-friendly approach to his project.

"I'm going to try to reuse a lot of stuff," he said. "I don't want to purchase much of it. It would completely go against the environment."

He said he isn't entirely sure what he's going to do with his sticky, finished project but said he definitely plans to eat a lot of it.

Griffith, who intends to major in a science or business in college, said he is bouncing around some ideas and thinks he might hold a pancake breakfast for some of his classmates and even make some maple candy.

"I like syrup," he said.