A brand new edition of our most popular garden and nutrition activity guide is hot off the presses! The 4th Edition of The Growing Classroom includes new and updated hands-on activities to bring learning to life for elementary school students. There is a new chapter on Healthy Eating, an expanded resource section on Cooking with Kids, over 25 student lab sheets for experiments, and more. The 480 pages of science, math, … [Read More →]
Upcoming Educator Workshops in the Life Lab Garden Classroom:
Thursday, February 19, 2015 – 9AM-3PM
Next Generation Science in the Garden – Cost: $150/person. 1 semester unit of graduate education credit available per day for an additional $60 fee per day. Please register by: February 6, 2015
Thursday-Friday, March 12-13, 2015 – 9:00AM-3:30PM
The Growing Classroom: 2-Day Intensive on Garden-Based Learning (Grades 2-6) – Cost: $300/person. 1 semester unit of graduate education … [Read More →]
Join Life Lab and EdWeb's Growing School Garden Community for a webinar on Outdoor Classroom Management
Thursday, January 15, 2015 – 1pm / Pacific Time, 4pm / Eastern Time
Register for the free webinar here!
View all our webinars.
Presenters: Whitney Cohen, Education Director at Life Lab.
Along with abundant opportunities for learning and fun, outdoor classrooms come with a unique set of challenges, particularly in relation to classroom management. How do I … [Read More →]
-by John Fisher Life Lab's Director of Partnerships and Programs
This post is part of our Sustaining School Gardens Series
Over the years I have led many garden workdays at the Life Lab Garden Classroom and school gardens across California.
In addition to the obvious goal of getting garden tasks accomplished, another big goal of a workday is to make volunteers feel that they are contributing to a worthy … [Read More →]
Aahhh, summer…. The season of summer day camp; when Life Lab rings with the sound of children’s laughter, the sun shines down on the heads of kids playing games in the meadow, and every child lifts up a cup of a delicious green garden smoothie and gives thanks to the bees and the chickens. I think the camp staff says this every single … [Read More →]
View Life Lab's Education Director Whitney Cohen's inspiring description of how Life Lab is changing the nature of education to the audience of our 2014 Benefit Brunch.
Please consider supporting Life Lab's work. Make a donation today.
For those who prefer words, here are some highlights of Whitney's talk:
"There's a real difference between knowing about something and knowing something. A child could know everything there is to know about carrots; … [Read More →]
The California School Garden Training Program (CSGT) trained 1,729 educators from 2012- June, 2014. It includes workshops on Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden (CSYSG) and Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE). CSGT also conducts Train-the-Trainer Workshops, in which new leaders are trained to replicate the CSYSG and GENE workshops.
Learn more about the California School Garden Training Program.
What a great example of repurposing, but do they work? I have researched a bit and asked school gardeners that use these greenhouses if they do work.
The following sites are the best resources I have found on building plastic bottle greenhouses:
Life Lab sprouted at Green Acres Elementary School in 1979. Most of the gardens that we have worked with over the past 35 years are located on, and serve one school site. While visiting school gardens in Denmark and Norway I was impressed by their model of one large garden serving multiple school sites. The reality of challenges related to creating and sustaining a school garden at an individual school … [Read More →]
A senior intern at Life Lab, Savannah Rugg, created a composting in schools survey (still open!) to better understand how composting functions in schools and school-districts. The survey asks questions regarding types of composting, compost materials, compost management, and compost curriculum. The results to the school compost survey are summarized in the charts below. It appears that most schools are either using compost as an educational tool in the school garden or … [Read More →]
Life Lab's Education Director Whitney Cohen presented a webinar on Common Core in the Garden on February 18, 2014.
View all our webinars.
Learn to use a garden to bring learning to life! A school garden (however large or small) provides a meaningful context in which students can apply new academic concepts and skills. Whether they are graphing the temperature of their … [Read More →]
Join Life Lab and EdWeb's Growing School Garden Community for a webinar on Regional Support Models for Sustaining School Gardens.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 – 4pm / Eastern Time
View the archived version here.
Read our article on One Garden, Many Schools.
View all our webinars.
Presenters: John Fisher, Director of Programs and Partnerships at Life Lab, with Park Guthrie, Garden Education Specialist for the Oakland Unified School District in California.… [Read More →]
May 28, 2014 Press Release – Survey Says… School Gardens Thriving in California – Results from the California School Garden Survey.
Life Lab, in collaboration with the California School Garden Network, conducted the California School Garden Survey to gain insights into the factors that help school gardens to function effectively, the resources that are needed to sustain them, and how they are utilized. The 2014 California School Garden Survey received 552 completed responses from schools … [Read More →]
Here at Life Lab, we have cross-mapped every lesson in The Growing Classroom with the new Common Core Math and Language Arts standards and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) being rolled out in schools across the country! We've also cross-mapped every lesson in Sowing the Seeds of Wonder with California's Preschool Learning Foundations.
[Read More →]
… [Read More →]
The newest sign in our Garden Sign collection is designed by National Geographic Scientific Illustrator Jose Miguel Mayo and demonstrates tips and tools for saving water.
View all our Garden Sign Designs.
Tips for Saving Water in the Garden
Plant native and drought-tolerant plants. Learn more at native plant organizations like California Native Plant Society.
For newly planted seeds and seedlings, water less deep and more frequently to … [Read More →]
This past week, 11 California FoodCorps service members gathered in Santa Cruz at the Life Lab Garden Classroom to engage in a three day training to learn how to connect kids to real food and see first-hand some of the best school garden and Farm to School models in action.
We have been having a great time showing visitors from Denmark some of the best farm to school and school garden programs in the region. The Danish study tour group, organized by Life Lab, is composed of eighteen government ministers, university faculty and graduate students, school gardeners and chefs, and farm to school support professionals.
Day one started with breakfast at a UCSC dining hall and a discussion with Tim … [Read More →]
LIfe Lab is a proud partner of EdWeb's online community and a contributor to their school garden webinars.
Join the community and online forum at Ed Web
View archives of webinars by Life Lab
- Inquiry in the Garden: Facilitating Student-Led Investigations for Grades K-8 in an Outdoor, Living Laboratory – Whitney Cohen, Life Lab Education Director
- Design Ideas for a Fun, Successful Instructional School Garden – John Fisher, Life Lab
Life Lab's Education Director Whitney Cohen led an enthusiastic webinar on Inquiry in the Garden as part of EdWeb's Growing School Gardens Community.
Inquiry in the Garden: Facilitating Student-Led Investigations for Grades K-8 Webinar covers how to create the "Ahh-ha" moment for students, how to form investigable questions, and many other facets of inquiry-based education.
View the archive of this very engaging webinar.
View more webinars by Life… [Read More →]
Monday, August 26th
Discretion Brewery in Soquel
Join the fun anytime from
Come for dinner or lunch at this family friendly brewery.
During Discretion Brewing's Love , 20% of all beer sales will go towards funding Life Lab's farm- and garden-based education programs.
We are glad to announce our latest endeavor to support school garden program development. Join the forum.
The National School Garden Network connects organizations and individuals supporting multiple school gardens across district, regional, or state levels. The network's forum provides a space for school garden professionals to connect and share resources, while its events and workshops carry the conversation to national gatherings. Learn more about the National School Garden Network… [Read More →]
Watering is an activity that kids can do by themselves, with little or no instruction. Having kids water their garden instills a care taking ethic.
Kids love to water and having a watering can for every kid makes it even more fun! By collecting the right types of bottles you will soon have a bottle for every kid in your group.
There are many types of bottles that can be … [Read More →]
Here's a great art activity to do with flower petals. Download this lesson and some others from The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Activities to Get Outside, Dirty and Having Fun!
View more activities in our easy garden activity video playlist.
Summer Two-Day Offering July 27-28
Make the connection from seed to table in this fun and delicious workshop. Using tried-and-true Life Lab lessons and recipes for grades K-8, participants explore effective ways to teach nutrition and encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables through gardening, harvesting and meal preparation. $300
Sample Workshop Agenda
View two day agenda
- How to lead
Teacher Professional Development for Teachers Grades K-8
What: Bring science learning to life! Our local environment can provide rich science learning experiences for students. Learn about the resources available, including the recently published K-12 California Education and the Environment Initiative Curriculum, student field experiences, and laboratory lessons at Elkhorn Slough Estuarine Reserve. We will introduce the Next Generation Science Standards and the California Common Core for Science Standards.
When: … [Read More →]
Have a joke or riddle of your own? Share it in the comments below.
- What did the doctor remove from her salad? Kidney beans!
- Why do worms act so frightened? They have no backbone.
- What is an ant? A hard-working bug that still finds time to go to lots of picnics.
- Why do you have to be careful about telling a secret in a cornfield? Because the corn
The Garden: A Master Teacher
Thursday, April 18 Social: 9:30 Program/Meeting: 10:15
Optional box lunch and workshop to follow program
Register at The Portland Garden Club
Taken from the Portland Garden Club….
We know that gardeners aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and our May speaker, John Fisher, is going to … [Read More →]
Life Lab has been delighted to work with a very forward-thinking organization in the nation's capital, DC Greens, to train garden coordinators through their Growing Garden Teachers program. DC Greens' innovative approach to regional school garden support was recently highlighted in the Washington Post article Helping Turn Teachers into Gardeners. DC's Healthy Schools Act is one of the main forces behind the area's broad school wellness efforts. This … [Read More →]
Life Lab's Outreach Director John Fisher led a photo filled webinar on School Garden Design as part of EdWeb's Growing School Gardens Community.
Design Ideas for a Fun, Successful Instructional School Garden Webinar shares school garden design elements from school garden across the nation. John shares "smart design" tips which facilitate learning and are easy to maintain.
View the archive of this fast paced webinar.[Read More →]
Life Lab participated in an Edible Schoolyard Google Hangout on the topic of training garden-based educators. We were one of five programs to share different training models and strategies for creating and sustaining school garden programs.
Featured Participants and Programs:
John Fisher, Outreach Director, Life Lab and California School Garden Training Program
Whitney Cohen, Education Director, Life Lab
Ellen Robinson, Programs and Services Manager, REAL School Gardens
Jane Hirschi, Executive … [Read More →]