Life Lab

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

Professional Development

"From providing the best curriculum resources to their cutting edge and exciting professional development opportunities, we have relied on Life Lab as our go to organization for support, ideas, and collaboration."  
           – Rachel Pringle, Director of Programs, Education Outside

Drawing upon over 35 years of experience in garden-based education, Life Lab provides professional mentoring to educators and trainers across the country. Learn to maximize the potential of an educational garden to breathe life into standards-based lessons; promote ecological literacy; encourage healthy eating; and support students' social development. Click below for more details on these professional development oppotunities:

Workshops at the Life Lab Garden Classroom in Santa Cruz, CA

Join us for an upcoming educator workshop at Life Lab's amazing Garden Classroom, located on the University of California Santa Cruz campus farm. 

See how we're changing the nature of education by training educators.

"One of the best organized days of hands-on activities and philosophical underpinnings I've ever seen!" – 5th Grade Teacher

Workshops at Your Location

Bring a Life Lab workshop to your school, organization, or community! Life Lab has trained tens of thousands of educators nationwide. View details on workshops at your site.

See how we're changing the nature of education by training educators.

See where we've been the last few years.

 

Hear from a teacher after a Life Lab workshop at her school.

Customized Professional Development Opportunities

Design a professional development opportunity to fit your specific interests and budget. Life Lab has worked very closely with schools and organizations around the world to develop professional mentoring opportunites that meet their needs. We have hosted everything from week-long institutes for Danish dignitaries to hour-long meetings with local schools to provide garden educators with the inspiration and information they need to advance their programming. Possible elements include:

To learn more about customized Professional Development opportunities with Life Lab, contact Whitney Cohen at education@lifelab.org or (831)459-3833.

Field Trip and Summer Camp Observations

Come observe a field trip or summer camp in action! To schedule a visit, contact Garden Education and Summer Camp Programs Director Amy Carlson at amy@lifelab.org or (831)459-4035.

Speaking Engagements and Presentations

Are you hosting your own conference or institute? Invite a member of the Life Lab team to inspire and engage your audience with a keynote presentation.

Read bios, see videos, and learn more about speakers John Fisher and Whitney Cohen.  

Webinars

Participate live or watch a free, archived Webinar to learn from Life Lab in the comfort of your own home, office, or WiFi-enabled spot in the garden! 


 

Life Lab has been recognized as an excellent educational organization by the following entities​

 

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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
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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.

THANK YOU!

#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.
www.lifelab.org/donate
#beapartofit, #changinglives, #optoutside, #gardenbasededucation, #happynewyear
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End the year making a life-chaning difference!
www.lifelab.org/donate
#beapartofit, #hopeforthefuture, #Happy2018!, #workingtogether
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With women and people of color still underrepresented in scientific fields, "I'm a scientist!" is a powerful statement coming from a 2nd grade girl in Watsonville. It came during a field trip to our Blooming Classroom field trip program. Young students look at flowers on living plants in the garden, see pollinators interacting with them, and pick a flower to dissect and explore its parts. Then they draw the flower and label all the parts they learned about in a lesson with our garden educators. This hands-on, garden-based science in action, and the feeling it gives students is exciting!

These ah-ha moments happen all the time at Life Lab, inspiring children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature. 100% of the funds needed to create these life-changing experiences come from grants and from individuals like you. Will you join us in ensuring that thousands of children each year can experience the joy of hands-on garden-based learning? Your tax-deductible gift will go directly to supporting our programs.

#beapartofit, #thisiswhatascientistlookslike, #creatingchange, #hopeforthefuture
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We all know that hands-on experiences are critical to learning. No one would dream of teaching technology without computers: in fact, in many schools today they are mandating 30 minutes of screen time per student, per day. Why on earth with this understanding are we trying to teach earth and life science without giving them exposure to earth and life? School gardens are spaces--outdoor classrooms--where students can learn science and apply math and language arts, in a context that feels relevant to them. And what might happen if we elevated the status of hands-on, experiential, outdoor learning? What might happen if schools started mandating 30 minutes of dirt time per student per day? This would be time where they could apply what they're learning in the classroom outdoors to the world around them and develop a connection to it. Well that’s what we’re here to find out!
#beapartofit, #dirttime, #getoutside, #handsonlearning,
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"This field trip was a fun experience that taught me how to eat healthy food in a fun way." -6th grader on a Feeling Fine with Fresh Foods Field Trip
Help grow the next generation of healthy eaters!
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#beapartofit, #healthyeating, #isupportlifelab, #donate, #gardenbasededucation
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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