Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

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The Growing Classroom: 2-Day Intensive on Garden-Based Learning

During this two-day workshop learn to use a garden to breathe life into standards-based lessons, promote ecological literacy, encourage healthy eating, and support students' social development. Using Life Lab’s Growing Classroom activity guide for grades 2-6, participants in this hands-on workshop experience tried-and-true garden-based lessons linked to Common Core Language Arts and Math and Next Generation Science Standards; practice basic gardening techniques; and develop management strategies for a school garden program. … [Read More →]


Outdoor Classroom and Garden Program Management

Learn from longstanding garden program garden educators on effective ways to manage an outdoor classroom and create a robust year-round program.

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UCSC Farm & Garden 50th Anniversary

Life Lab is a 38 year old non-profit who has partnered with the UCSC Farm for most of our existence. We are thrilled to be part of the UCSC Farm & Garden's 50th Anniversary. We will be sharing a workshop along a line up of many other great offerings. We will be also offering childcare through a One Day Camp for 6 years and older at our Wildlands and Watering … [Read More →]


One Day Kids Camp – UCSC Farm 50th Anniversary

While you are at UCSC Farm 50th Anniversary Events have your child explore the UCSC Farm with Life Lab. Our garden educators will run a one day version of our Wildlands and Watering Cans Day Camp.  Saturday, July 29th from 9:30 to 4:00 at the Life Lab Garden Classroom on the UCSC Farm.

For children 6 years of age and older. $50… [Read More →]


Common Core in the Garden (Grades K-6)

Learn to use a school garden to provide a meaningful context in which students can apply their emerging skills in math and English language arts. Using lessons from The Growing Classroom activity guide, participants in this workshop will experience and discuss garden activities that support learning in math and language arts. Whether they are graphing the temperature of their compost pile over time; reading a recipe to make fresh salsa; writing … [Read More →]


Santa Cruz School Food and Garden Tour

Visit longstanding school food and garden programs in action! On this tour, participants visit four established elementary school gardens; meet garden coordinators with decades of experience; observe and enjoy a school lunch cooked by students in Pacific Elementary's Food Lab Program.… [Read More →]


Plant It, Grow It, Eat It! Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education (Grades K-8)

Sheila Bricken

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. We offer a Fall and Spring version of this workshop. 1 semester unit of graduate education credit available.

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The Kitchen Classroom

Learn how to engage students in meal preparation as part of the National School Lunch Meal Program.

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Next Generation Science in the Garden

Next Generation Science in the Garden

Let's head outside and put earth and life back into Earth and Life Science! Using activities from the award-winning Life Lab Science curriculum, participants in this workshop learn to use a garden as a meaningful context in which their students can engage in Next Generation Science and Engineering Practices to examine Disciplinary Core Ideas and Cross-Cutting Concepts. Where better to explore ecological interdependence, growth and development of organisms, structure and … [Read More →]


Thank You Thursday – A Benefit for Life Lab

SCMB will donate $1 from every beer sold to Life Lab. Bring your dog, bring your kids, and enjoy some delicious local, organic beer for a good cause!  … [Read More →]

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Teaching a Growing Classroom Workshop at @OakSpringGardenFoundation in collaboration with I feel like I’ve fallen into a small French village. This is the former estate of Paul and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon in Virginia. Mrs. Mellon was an avid horticulturalist who designed the White House Rose Garden! I am staying in the room where Jackie Kennedy stayed when she visited here!! Sharing a weekend in this space with teachers who love kids and gardens is a truly unforgettable experience. ... See MoreSee Less

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Just when I thought we’d seen it all ... this is an agrophotovoltaic school garden underneath massive solar panels at @Manzo.Ecology in Tucson. The elementary school students here gather and analyze data on how the shade from the panels helps the plants grow and how the plants help cool the panels and increase their efficiency. What?!?! It’s amazing and gives me hope. Oh, and also they have a desert tortoise in their courtyard. ... See MoreSee Less

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Have you heard?! Life Lab is one of New Leaf Community Markets' recipients of their EnviroToken program at their Westside Santa Cruz store! So get your shopping on, bring your reusable bags, and donate 10¢ to Life Lab with every bag you use! Thank you, New Leaf!
#thankyou, #grateful, #ReduceReuseRecycle, #isupportlifelab
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What happens when Whole Kids Foundation partners with you to bring 50+ leaders from School Garden Support Organizations from across the country together to get to talk shop, inspire each other, problem-solve around shared challenges, and eat amazing food prepared and served by happy 5th graders? MAGIC. That's what happens. #sgso2018 ... See MoreSee Less

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Have you heard?! Life Lab is one of New Leaf Community Markets' recipients of their EnviroToken program for their Westside Santa Cruz store! So get your shopping on, bring your reusable bags, and donate 10¢ to Life Lab with every bag you use! Thank you, New Leaf!
#thankyou, #grateful, #ReduceReuseRecycle, #isupportlifelab
... See MoreSee Less

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We are so grateful to be starting 2018 with such strong support! Because of so many generous gifts from our supporters like you, we surpassed our 2017 fundraising goal of $124,000, with all campaign donations totaling $125,835.

These funds will help make Life Lab field trip and summer camp programs possible for children from families and schools that could otherwise not afford them. We believe that ALL children deserve the chance to love learning, healthy food, and nature. Thanks to your support, this year we will serve even more children in Santa Cruz County and across the nation.


#beapartofit, #startingstrong, #changinglives, #isupportlifelab
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Happy almost 2018, Life Lab fans! We are only $809 dollars away from reaching our $124,000 year-end fundraising goal! Before you ring in the new year, will you help us ensure a promising 2018? 100% of the funds necessary to do this important work come from grants and from individuals like you. Will you join us in ensuring that we can continue to deepen and expand our reach, so that even more children can experience the joy of loving learning, healthy food, and nature? Your tax-deductible gift made by midnight tonight will go directly to supporting our programs.
#beapartofit, #changinglives, #optoutside, #gardenbasededucation, #happynewyear
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Life Lab has been the most innovative and relevant organization in this field. From providing the best curriculum to their cutting edge professional development, we have relied on Life Lab as our go to organization for support, ideas, and collaboration.
Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside
Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.
Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps
Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.
Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary
Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.
Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom