Life Lab

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

The Life Lab Garden Classroom and UCSC Farm played host to hundreds of Santa Cruz Teens during the "Food, What?!" Strawberry Blast. The local press was there to cover the event:

Santa Cruz Weekly Strawberry Blast An Eye-Opener for Students had this to say:

Hosted by Life Lab’s youth empowerment group, Food, What?!, the fourth annual Strawberry Blast took 300 middle and high school students from Santa Cruz County on a food education free-for-all on May 12, exposing surprising realities behind the food we eat and the equally surprising need for such outings…“Every time you spend a dollar, you vote. Every time you buy a Coke or a Rockstar or a Monster, you’re showing the world you believe in that product,” says C.C. Parsons, a Food, What?! staff member. His demonstration asked kids to guess how many tablespoons of sugar were in a Vitamin Water (12.5 tablespoons) and a Rockstar (15.5 tablespoons), but it was the visual representation of sugar in a cup that really seemed to stick. “When they hear these things and actually see the volume of sugar, they flip,” says Parsons. read more…


The Patch Teens Learn by Mouth at the Strawberry Blast shared the following:

“This event lets students see how nutritious food can be delicious,” said Abby Bell, coordinator of FoodWhat?! since the program began five years ago, an offshoot of Life Lab. "We don't necessarily expect them to go home and start composting with worms, but we want to show them high-quality food."

Driscoll's of Watsonville donated organic strawberries by the cartload. Strauss graciously provided the many gallons of yogurt. Amber Turpin, Allison O'Sullivan and Jessica Hoffmann encouraged students to make their own at the Strawberry Blast tart table. Shells were baked ahead of time, then set out with yogurt and strawberries for students to assemble into a tasty treat.

The smoothie station was always crowded, as students whirled strawberries with orange juice, milk and yogurt into a refreshing drink. Bell asked students how they liked the smoothies.

“They're awesome,” said one student. “Red fruits and vegetables are good for your heart.” Students found out that eating foods from the whole color spectrum is a sign they're getting all the nutrients for vigorous health. read more…

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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.
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