Life Lab

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

“Food,What?!” Strawberry Youth Blast coverage from the Santa Cruz Sentinel — All things strawberry were the focus at the UCSC Farm and Garden Wednesday, as 300 county high and middle school students joined volunteers from Food, What?! for the 2010 Strawberry Blast.
Teenagers descended on the farm to celebrate the seasonal fruit. They harvested and tasted organic strawberries, made their own smoothies and ate fresh strawberry pies. But strawberries were just the tip of the Food What?! event, dedicated to food education.

Growing their own food, students learn not only about the health benefits of fresh fruit over fast food but the dangers of pesticides as well. Before this program, few students and even adults realized that sometimes harmful chemicals can be used to protect food from insects that will later be consumed by the customer. This can make people really sick. While most food producers are compliant with government guidelines when spraying their crops, there can still be a risk to the public if mistakes are made. Anyone who does become ill due to the negligence of food producers can click here to hire a personal injury lawyer who can help them receive the compensation they deserve.

A project of the nonprofit Life Lab Science Program, Food What?! has held the strawberry festival for three years, aiming to make it a cornerstone of nutritional education. Strawberries serve as a vehicle to make teenagers aware that healthy and affordable food is within reach, said Food What?! Director Doron Comerchero.

Students walked from booth to booth under a large metal shed on the half-acre farm. These sorts of sheds, provided by metal building companies, have become very common on modern farms as they last a lot longer than the original wooden barns and as such, they now play a pivotal role in food production. The students were able to test their knowledge of fair trade, label understanding and health hazards related to fast food.
“We are countering the media influence of the fast-food industry,” Comerchero said. “Kids are always told about what not to do. But it’s super important to talk to them about the healthy alternatives.” These days, with access to the internet, many parents and teachers can visit sites like The Nutrition Insider to help them to educate young people or children on the best nutrients and also how to create a balanced diet!

James Smith, director of food services for Santa Cruz City Schools, also manned a nutritional stand. Smith started in the job last August and introduced changes to school lunches. Food services stopped buying prepackaged food, emphasized the importance of fruit and vegetables in a healthy diet, and how something like these total restore ingredients can further aid a healthy and nutritionist diet for any individual wishing to change their lifestyle. So, when food services stopped buying prepackaged food, they now buy 75 percent of its produce from county farmers, Smith said. But the former UCSC cook stressed the need for better education. “I can put anything out there, but it doesn’t mean the kids are going to take it,” Smith said. See the rest of the article

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Become a Life Lab Certified Gardener! ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒปBased on the success of our first four cohorts of Life Lab-Certified Garden Educators, we are excited to announce that registration is now open for individuals to register and be part of our fifth cohort starting January 23rd, 2023! Weโ€™ve put together a series of 4 on-line courses that will guide and support educators in becoming a Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educator. Upon successful completion of the 4 courses, participants will receive a certificate and the distinction of being a Life Lab-Certified Garden Educator. Each course will last 4 weeks long and include 4 synchronous meetings, at-home work, and a unique coaching model. The total commitment for the full series is 16 weeks. Check out our website for more information! Registration for the full certification series is now open. Please share with others who are looking for ideas and inspiration in the garden! There are 24 spots available and we sold out in our last 4 certification series. We hope you can join us!Life Lab offers a limited number of course fee reductions based on need and anticipated impact. To apply for financial assistance, follow the link below. Scholarship applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis between now and December 1st, 2022 or until all funds have been awarded.

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Thanks Shmuel! and all those that joined the Starlight workday.

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7 months ago

Life Lab

www.lifelab.org/jobs Full-time Bilingual Garden Educators at PVUSD School Gardens and Summer Program Staff at Garden Classroom on UCSC Farm

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7 months ago

Life Lab

Full-time Career and Summer Staff Positions in @pajarovalleyusd school gardens and the Life Lab Garden Classroom. On the @ucscagroecology farm @ucsc @pvusdschoolfood lifeLab.org/jobs

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7 months ago

Life Lab

We are so glad to be a part of this yearโ€™s Growing School Gardens Summit! 415 attendees from 45 states across the US, representing 6,000+ school gardens serving more than 2.5 million students. Here we go!!

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9 months ago

Life Lab

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9 months ago

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Food Factories ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿฅ—๐Ÿ˜‹In this lesson, students find leaves with holes in them and then construct explanations for what might havecaused those holes. They listen to a story book and add further possible explanations for the holes. Thenthey explore the garden to prepare to engage in argument from evidence about which explanation for these holes seems the most plausible. Finally, they relate this concept to plants that humans eat.#NGSGintheGarden #NGSS #gardenbasededucation

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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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