Life Lab

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

Field Trip Confirmation

Greetings Field Trip Teachers!

We're looking forward to spending this time with your class in the Garden Classroom.

Please read this information thoroughly and pass the info along to all adults who will be accompanying your class.

For all field trips:

Where to Park: Please park in the dirt lot outside the Farm Back Gate.   Click here to download a parking map, and please print a copy for each driver. GPS and map services don't work here; please be sure drivers follow the map.

Parking Permits: We have sent you (by mail) the parking permits you ordered (if any) for your drivers to display on their cars. Make sure to fill out the date on the parking passes, in black felt pen (such as a Sharpie). UCSC parking enforcement is quite strict. If you need more passes, please call Life Lab at 459-4035. If you have extras, don't write on the extra passes and they can be refunded by Life Lab staff on the day of your field trip. 

Please plan on arriving 20 minutes early and having snack before the program. It always seems to take a little longer than planned to get here and walking from the parking area to the farm can take up to ten minutes with a group of children. Also, it’s a good idea to allow a few minutes for the students to have snack at the garden before the field trip begins. 

Role of Chaperones: We invite all accompanying parents/chaperones to join in on the field trips and encourage them to help shepherd the students in their group. Also, keep in mind that the field trip is oriented towards children, so please ask chaperones to refrain from asking "adult" questions during the program. 

Groups: Please divide the children into small groups ahead of time, so that after our introduction we can efficiently split up.  For 1st grade and up, we split into three groups; for the pre & K program we split into four groups.

Nametags are a great help to us, especially if they are color-coded for the groups (the red group, the blue group, etc.).

Dress appropriately, with closed-toed shoes. Make sure students are prepared for the weather and keep in mind that this is a hands-on experience — they may get dirty.

Weather: If it looks like there will be light rain during your visit please encourage your students to bring rainwear and boots if they have them. Light rain is no problem, but heavy rain will cancel a field trip and we will call the morning of the field trip if the rain is too heavy. (Exception: our winter field trip program runs rain or shine and we have plenty of rain cover and ponchoes if needed).

Cancellations: Please call us (459-4035) as much in advance as possible if you need to cancel your field trip. If you cancel your field trip less than two weeks prior to the field trip date, the field trip fee will not be refunded or credited to later field trips. Payment for parking passes will be refunded if parking passes are returned unmarked.

For 1st grade and up field trips (scroll down for pre & K):

Lunches: Please have students bring a lunch to eat at our 11:40 lunchtime. Please challenge yourselves to bring low-waste lunches (packed in reusable containers). Due to limited garbage facilities, we ask that you pack out your garbage; recycling is available for cans and bottles.

Lesson Packet: Some of our field trips include pre- and post-visit activities for you to do with your class. We also include the lessons that your students do during their visit. Consider your visit to the Garden Classroom just one part of a whole unit you can share with your class. Download your lesson packet below. Please note, our Spring Science Exploration field trips are in the process of becoming aligned with NGSS;  the new lessons and practices will be used in Spring 2018, and the new lesson packets will debut in Spring 2019. 

Field Trip Agenda:

Winter & Spring 1st & up Schedule
10:00 Introduction
10:20 Garden Classroom Lessons (based on the theme of the field trip) — We will rotate through 3 stations in 3 small groups
11:40 Lunch
12:00 Farm Exploration
12:55 Wrap-up

Fall Farm to Fork Schedule
10:00 Introduction (Six Plant Parts)
10:20 Break into three groups and explore the farm, harvesting and tasting examples of the six plant parts and visiting the apple orchard and corn fields
11:40 Lunch
12:00 Garden Classroom Rotations: Apple Pressing, Tortilla Making, and Chickens
1:10 Wrap-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Seeds of Wonder pre & K field trips:

Field Trip Agenda (field trips run 9:00-10:15 or 11:00-12:15):
Large Group Introduction, then split into small groups
Activity Stations — We will rotate through 4 stations, 15 min/station.
Large Group Wrap-up

Allergies: This program may include tasting of seeds, including walnuts. Please let us know if your class includes children who are allergic to tree nuts.

 

General Information

Life Lab is an independent nonprofit based on the UCSC campus. The Life Lab Garden Classroom is located on the 25-acre CASFS Farm near the base of campus. The Garden Classroom is an outdoor discovery laboratory.In the Garden Classroom you will find composting demonstrations, chickens, educational displays, a children’s vegetable garden, a pond and much more.

The farm is managed by the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and serves as a training and research center for sustainable agriculture activities and produces an array of mixed fruits and vegetables.

On Tuesdays and Fridays from Noon – 6:00 (early June – October) produce is sold at the base of the campus at the Farm’s market cart. You are welcome to visit the produce cart after your field trip to make the connection from the farm to the consumer.

Life Lab offers a variety of field trips fall, winter, and spring. Click here for more information on our field trip programs.

Thanks for your interest in the Life Lab Garden Classroom & the CASFS Farm. We’re looking forward to your visit!

Amy Carlson, Garden Education Director
Life Lab
amy@lifelab.org
(831) 459-4035

follow us on Facebook

In 2016, you helped us bring 30 leaders from across the nation together for a first-ever Leadership Institute for School Garden Support Organizations.

The results are in on the work they have achieved together. In 2017, these 30 leaders collectively trained 463 teachers who teach over 10,000 students every year. And after their trainings, 98% of those 463 teachers reported an increase in their motivation and confidence to engage students in hands-on, experiential learning in a garden setting.

Do you know what that means?! That means more and more kids getting meaningful experiences like the students above! That’s why, in January of 2018 we’ll be hosting another Leadership Institute, this time for 50 leaders who will be coming in from all across the US, including leaders from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Because every child everywhere deserves the chance to discover a love of learning, healthy food, and nature. We can’t wait to see what these leaders accomplish in the year to come!

#beapartofit
www.lifelab.org/donate
#isupportlifelab, #neverdoubt, #allchildrendeservethis,
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Late afternoon light at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems is the best time of day. Add aerial video and fall colors and you get a real nice video. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Today is the 174th birthday of Gertrude Jekyll, a British horticulturist, garden designer, artist, and writer. She created over 400 gardens in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.

"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust." -Gertrude Jekyll
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

A heartfelt thank you to our generous community for all of your support on #GivingTuesday yesterday! We celebrate all of YOU this #ThankYouWednesday--with your partnership, we are growing healthy, inspired children!
#isupportlifelab, #grateful
www.lifelab.org/donate
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Over the past four years, the amount of mobile screen time has tripled in kids under eight. Our programs get kids outdoors in gardens and farms where they are physically active and learn to love nature!

"We will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught." - Baba Dioum

Will you join us today for #GivingTuesday in providing opportunities for children to love nature?

www.lifelab.org/donate, #isupportlifelab, #nature, #beapartofit
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

The next generation of problem solvers will come from tomorrow's scientists. We partner with five schools in Watsonville to spark the curiosity of over 3,000 students in our school garden and field trip programs. Another 2,500 students engage in hands-on, garden-based learning at our Garden Classroom in Santa Cruz, too.

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." - Albert Einstein

You can influence real change today by supporting Life Lab for #GivingTuesday.

www.lifelab.org/donate, #isupportlifelab, #beapartofit, #cultivatingthescientistsoftomorrow, #donate,
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Watch us on Youtube

View Life Lab Channel

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