Life Lab

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

K-12

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!

K-5

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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3 days ago

Life Lab

As we all navigate the dynamics of distance learning education, Life Lab would like to offer support.

Check out our website Lifelab.org/Covid-19/ for resources outlining the potential for outdoor learning spaces to provide "extra “classroom” space; allow for social distancing; and provide strategic and cost-effective tools for improving academic, mental and physical well being. #outdoorlearningspaces #outdooreducation #schoolgardens #lifelab #notallclassroomshavefourwalls #livinglaboratory #socialemotionallearning See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

Today’s Thankful Thursday shout out goes to our @pajarovalleyusd Partner Schools: Hall District Elementary, H. A. Hyde Elementary, Starlight Elementary, Amesti Elementary, Ohlone Elementary, Ann Soldo Elementary, & McQuiddy Elementary🌱We look forward to another school year of bringing learning to life through nature based education🌻#schoolgardens #lifelab #thankfulthursday #nature #education See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

Change is good and delicious #Blackberry #schoolgardens #outdoorlearning #LifeLab #gardeneducation See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Life Lab

We are grateful for the continued support from @newleafcmarket Life Lab is honored to have been chosen as a community non-profit benefactor of their Bloom Wellness products that are all organic, non-GMO, & gluten free. Our partnership reflects New Leaf Community Markets’ core values of education, environmental stewardship, and nutrition. #thankyouthursday #schoolgardens #lifelab #newleafcommunitymarket #gardensofgratitude See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

🌱Moment of the Month🌱

Life Lab Summer Camps are always a beautiful and nurturing way to share the interconnections of nature with children. Although our campers could not join us in the Life Lab Garden Classroom this summer, we wanted to make it possible for them to have fun at home! So our camp team assembled Summer Activity Care Packages full of materials, recipes, and advice for 225 children who had already registered for camp. They then carefully and lovingly hand delivered them to each family, occasionally getting to say Hi! from a safe distance, too.

"Thank you so much!! I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for pooling your ideas together for non-screen fun and learning opportunities. We can’t wait to dive in!
With much gratitude,"
Ellie

We are grateful to each and every camp family for their kindness, generosity, and patience as we all navigated the new realities of this year. As a community, the camp families even donated more than $12,000 of their camp fees towards ensuring that Life Lab will continue cultivating children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education during this challenging time.

While we cannot deliver care packages to everyone in our broader Life Lab community, we hope that our growing BackPocketLearning.org website will help families seeking simple, fun, nature based activities and healthy family recipes to enjoy together at home this summer!🌈🐝🌻🌞

#lifelabmomentofthemonth #mylifelab #lifelab #summercamp #summerfun #gardenbasededucation #gardenlife #garden See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

Our “Share Your Garden Saturday” video series continues with a sweet share from Emma Christie in the Life Lab garden at Starlight Elementary School in Watsonville🌸#shareyourgaredLL #school gardens PVUSD Food & Nutrition Services #LifeLab AmeriCorps See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

In love with our @reneesgardenseeds flowers❤️thank you Renee for years of support & providing seeds for Life Lab gardens. We appreciate you! #reneesgardenseeds #lifelab #outdooreducation #gardensofgratitude #schoolgardens See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

“Education is a practice of Freedom” #emancipation #juneteenth #americanhistory #blackhistory #teachablemoments See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Happy National Eat Your Veggies Day!😋🥕

To celebrate today we wanted to share some of our impacts this past school year. In our seven PVUSD Partner Elementary Schools, 98% of kindergarten, 1st and 2nd teachers reported that the Fall 2019 NGSS in the Garden programs improved their 1,900 students’ attitudes towards fresh fruits and vegetables, their emotional well-being, and their connection with nature.

Our Kids Cook presentation brought exciting hands-on cooking and healthy eating to more than 1,500 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at these schools, too, in January, February and March. In tastings surveys 72% of the children reported liking or loving the fresh, healthful foods they ate, with 63% said they were trying a new fresh produce item for the first time.

278 second-graders from our partner schools enjoyed hands-on learning in field trips to our Blooming Classroom this school year. 59% reported tasting new healthy food items for the first time in lesson-based tastings, and 70% said they loved or liked what they tasted.

We would also like to remind you to eat a rainbow 🌈🥗

A diverse and colorful diet nourishes a strong and healthy body. All fruits and vegetables contain different combinations of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. In addition, they contain phytonutrients, which give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors and also play a wide range of roles in keeping our bodies healthy.

Thank you to our partners and sponsors for making this work possible. @sagegardenproject @pvhealth @pajarovalleyusd
@unfi @foodcorps

#eatyourveggies #EatYourVegetablesDay #mylifelab #vegetables See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

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Stock up your Garden Classroom

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
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