Life Lab

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


The Worm Guide is available from CalRecycle for download. The guide describes how food scraps are transformed into nutrient rich vermicompost and has a variety of interdisciplinary classroom activities.

Recycle Now has created a School's Resource Pack filled with teacher's notes about composting with great definable terms along with many compost activities.

"Do the Rot Thing: A Teacher's Guide to Compost Activities" was created by Central Vermont Solid Waste Management includes introductory, basic composting, worm composting, and spreading the word about composting activities for K-12.

Want to compost your school cafeteria lunch scraps? Here is a 98 page compost manual made by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shows the steps to establish and maintain a successful school-wide composting program.

View our School Waste Reduction Guides,  Compost Garden Signs, Composting Sifting Lesson Video, and Composting with Worms Video.

Great collection of composting resources including compost material images and compost critters.

Pre K

Vermicomposting activity for pre-K! First, the kids get to be worms moving their way through a cardboard apple and make worm puppets. Then, the kids peek inside the worm bin to see how worms make dirt!


The Marin County Office of Waste Management has created over a 100 page document titled, "Composting Across the Curriculum: A Teacher's Guide To Composting". It explains why composting is important and connects compost with science, math, history, and literature for K-6 classrooms! A must read if you need help connecting compost to your other curriculum!

Westlake Elementary students take a lesson in sifting compost and looking at invertebrates! Here is a great teaching example for a compost lesson.

Here is a video of a series of composting activities that can get your kids thinking about composting! 1st two activities K-5, the 3rd activity probably best for 5th-8th.

Mr. Paradise's Class Experiment with vermicomposting. See kids research decomposition, make worm boxes, and speak about what they learned through their vermicomposting class experiment in this video.

Middle School

Another option for an indoor composting system is a two-can bioreactor because it is small and if any foul odors are emitted from the compost the lid of the second can will contain them. Here is a page made by Cornell that illustrates how to build a two-can bioreactor.

A great way to have compost in the classroom is using a soda bottle bioreactor so each student can have their own compost. Different students can put different food scraps in their bioreactors to see what composts fastest! Cornell has instructions on building a soda bottle bioreactor.

A class could also use a high tech bioreactor to manipulate composting parameters inside the classroom. Cornell has a page dedicated to the building materials and procedure required to build a classroom high tech bioreactor!

Cornell has a large resource base of compost curriculum for teachers ranging from background information to compost engineering. 15+ compost curriculum ideas for middle school and high school students!

Middle School students from Mrs. William's Class at Discovery Middle School build a compost tumbler! See the video for ideas to build compost tumbler.

High School

Composting Curriculum by Cornell for high school students. This page presents many experiments high school students could perform on compost piles to contribute to math and science education.

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1 week ago

Life Lab

Thanks Christine at for sharing a good winter time lesson from The Growing Classroom.Christine shares a hands-on garden planning lesson using mapping, math, and scale drawing skills from one of our best-known resources, The Growing Classroom!… See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab
Join Us For a 2019 Life Lab Garden Classroom Workshop

~ Meet and learn from other garden-based educators

~ Be inspired by our model educational Garden Classroom Site

~ Enjoy a delicious, fresh meal

~ Take home lessons and resources to use in the garden or classroom See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Last week we were thrilled to have garden educators from around the country collaborate at our School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute.

Will you apply next year? Pictures (and smiles) tell it better than our words can.

Thank you all for participating!Kristen and Kat spent last week at the School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute hosted by Life Lab in Santa Cruz, California. The institute provided the opportunity for us to learn best practices in networking, sustainability, evaluation, school standards, and more from school garden organizations from all over the country. We also got to visit some truly dreamy and fully-integrated school gardens. We can’t wait to share our BIG goals and vision for OKC Harvest with you! See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Even though we’re 2 days into 2019 it’s not too late to donate to Life Lab! Our curriculum, our garden educator training, our interns are working with children year round in gardens across the country! See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

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We love hearing children in our Watsonville school programs proudly proclaim, “I’m a scientist!” after dissecting flowers and drawing their structures.

By supporting Life Lab you help make these inspiring educational experiences available to all children regardless of what they can pay. See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Sharing this citrus salsa recipe!

"After making citrus salsa with the class, I asked all of the students to say ‘cheers’ to the chefs who helped prepare this delicious & healthy snack. One of the students looked up and exclaimed, ‘That’s US! WE are the chefs! WE did it!’ I loved seeing that moment of recognition for him: that he (and his entire class) had actually created this healthy meal for all of us to share and enjoy."

-Life Lab Kids Cook Educator See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

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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