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Apple cider is a fall favorite in Upstate New York, especially at Bell Top Elementary School. First graders operated an assembly line of sorts in the Learning Barn in back of school on Friday to make their own brand of fresh and all-natural apple cider.

The fun activity continues a tradition that many former students still fondly remember.

Students washed the apples, crushed them in the wooden hand press, poured them into small plastic bottles and then capped them. They learned about the apple cider process as well as simple machines such as a wheel, a crank and an incline plane. At the end of the day, they got to bring a bottle of cider home with them.

The three first grade classes rotated through cider production in the Learning Barn with Mrs. Lyte, an art project in Mrs. Lussier’s classroom and math and science activities in Mrs. Arket’s classroom, all involving apples.

In the spring, Bell Top students will make maple syrup in the Learning Barn.