Life Lab

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

School Field Trips

Life Lab offers garden-based field trips for preschool through middle school students in the Garden Classroom on the UCSC CASFS Farm.

Seeds of Wonder Preschool & Kindergarten Field Trips take place on Wednesdays, April-June and October-November.

Spring Science Exploration Field Trips for 1st grade – middle school. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, mid-April through mid-June.

Fall Farm to Fork Field Trips for 1st grade – middle school. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, September through early November.

Winter Feeling Fine with Fresh Food Nutrition Field Trips for 3rd-5th grades. Tuesdays and Thursdays, January-March.

Make a Garden Classroom Field Trip Reservation.

View field trip visitor information (confirmation materials, parking information, daily agenda)
 


Seeds of Wonder Preschool & Kindergarten Field Trips: A Hands-on Exploration of the Garden Classroom

This hour and fifteen minute seasonal program is geared toward 3 1/2 – 6 year olds. Programs focus on hands-on exploration of the garden, songs, stories, and opportunities for discovery.

Fall Program
  • Visit our vegetable garden to harvest and eat garden treats
  • Collect leaves, make leaf prints, and celebrate the falling leaves
  • Visit our pumpkin patch, read a pumpkin story and taste pumpkin seeds
  • Meet our friendly hens, find out what they do for us in the garden and peek into their nesting boxes to search for eggs
  • Classes take home post-visit activity ideas for teachers
Spring Program
  • A soil discovery station, where students explore the properties of sand and other soils and gain an awareness of the rich variety in soils
  • A seed sorting and planting station, where students investigate and sort garden seeds and plant some to bring back to the classroom
  • A visit with our friendly hens, along with a discussion of what they do for us in the garden and peek in the nest boxes to search for eggs
  • An exploration of our pond and wild bird area, to find fish, insects and birds that make their home in the garden
  • Classes take home post-visit activity ideas for teachers and root view seed cups for classroom observation

Wednesdays, 9:00-10:15 or 11:00-12:15, $80/class (payment required 3 weeks in advance of field trip date), one class maximum per visit (20-30 students), $4 per car parking fee, Scholarships available.

Click here to make a field trip reservation.

Spring Science Exploration Field Trips

For 1st grade through middle school students. All participating teachers will receive pre- and post-visit lessons to extend the learning into the classroom.

All programs include:
  • Garden-based science exploration stations
  • A hands-on exploration of the UCSC Farm
  • Visiting with our chickens and observational bee hive

Pondering Plants – Grade 1 Come to the garden to learn about plants and how they get what they need from their environment. Students will explore the garden and discover different types of roots and leaves and learn how they help the plant grow and survive.

Soil Stories – Grade 2 Bring your class to explore what feeds us all – the soil! Come explore soils and soil components. Students learn to be caretakers of the element that grows our food and fiber. Have fun while learning about "dirt."

Garden Pollinators – Grade 3 Birds, bees and other creatures are essential visitors to the garden. Come explore the relationships between plants and pollinators and learn how plants and animals have evolved to meet each others' needs.

Garden Habitats – Grade 4 John Muir wrote: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything in the universe.” Come explore the ideas of habitat and ecosystems, build a Web of LIfe, and investigate the wildlife habitats found in and around the Garden Classroom. Students will also work to create more habitat by planting perennials, from seed, to take back to your school.

Investigating Agriculture – Grade 5 – Middle School What does it take to grow food for our tables? Come see how we do it on an organic farm. Students investigate the systems of a farm while gaining an understanding of predator-prey relationships, the role of biological diversity, and other issues related to food production. Activities also focus on compost, honeybees, and chickens in the Garden Classroom. View field trip journal (4mb PDF).

Field Trips are available Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday, mid-April through early June. Field trips begin at 10 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. $140/class (payment required 3 weeks advance of field trip date), 1 class maximum per visit (20-30 students), $4 per car parking fee, Scholarships available. Make a field trip reservation.

Fall Farm to Fork Field Trips

For 1st grade through middle school students. This program helps students to make the important connection between farms and the food on their dinner table. All participating teachers will receive pre- and post-visit lessons related to our local food system.

Farm to Fork Field Trips include:

Hands-on Exploration of the 25-acre UCSC Farm

  • Explore a organic flower and vegetable farm
  • Harvest and sample the six plant parts—roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits & seeds
  • Participate in apple investigations and tastings in the orchard
  • Gain an appreciation for the different varieties & uses of corn

Activities in the Garden Classroom

  • Harvest celebration, where students make and taste corn tortillas & apple cider
  • Visiting chickens, honey bees, composting worms, and other garden learning sites

Field Trips are available Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday, early September through mid-November.

Field trips begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 1:15 p.m.

$150/class (payment required 3 weeks advance of field trip date), One class maximum per visit (20-30 students), $4 per car parking fee, Scholarships available. Make a field trip reservation.

Winter Feeling Fine with Fresh Food Nutrition & Cooking Field Trips For Third, Fourth & Fifth Graders

For third, fourth, and fifth grade students. This program helps students to make the important connection between their health and the foods they choose. The activities prepare students to make informed decisions about what they eat. All participating teachers receive a packet of pre- and post-visit lessons to extend the learning into the classroom.

Field Trips Include:

Nutrition Activities in the Garden Classroom

  • Find out how eating a rainbow of fruits & vegetables keeps our body systems working
  • Learn how to create a balanced meal or snack
  • Harvest and cook “Stone Soup” and enjoy it with your lunch

Hands-on Exploration of the 25 acre UCSC Farm

  • Explore an organic vegetable and flower farm
  • Discuss the seasonality of food
  • Learn about the value of eating fresh and local

Field Trips Available: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., January through March. $140/class (payment required 3 weeks advance of field trip date), One class maximum per visit (20-30 students), $4 per car parking fee, Scholarships available. Make a field trip reservation.

Field trips take place rain or shine. Ponchos and covered areas available.

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Life Lab shared Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems's post. ... See MoreSee Less

Doron Comerchero, founder and director of FoodWhat?!, will interview Chadwick Garden manager Orin Martin tonight (Wednesday, July 12) on the FoodSpeaks show, 7-7:45 pm on KZSC, 88.1. Call with your comments and questions at 831-459-4036. Streaming: www.kzsc.org/listen/

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Having a great time in Portland, OR. Life Lab's John Fisher is presenting at the International Master Gardens Conference and the AHS National Children & Youth Gardening Symposium. Sharing and learning with 1,500+ garden educators.
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30 educators from across the country shared the power of garden-based learning. Mindfulness in the garden, transplanting with kids, bed prep, and bringing learning to life in the garden were just a few of the topics covered over the two days. Our next workshop is on Outdoor Classroom and Garden Program Management July 27th. ... See MoreSee Less

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Thanks to the 200+ people who came to join us at our annual Benefit Brunch and garden tour! ... See MoreSee Less

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Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside

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.

Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps

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.

Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary

Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.

Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom

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.