Life Lab

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

Growing a Career in Garden Education

 

Elena Steger, a recent UC Santa Cruz graduate and intern at Life Lab, is on a journey to pursue her calling.

 

In high school, “environmental studies” was the “one class that didn’t feel like work” she recalls. She continued following her interests and eventually majored in this field during her undergraduate studies. “However, I’ve learned that connecting with the natural world around us is not just a major or a subject in school. It is a way of living.”

 

Life Lab played a crucial role in providing her some purpose and direction as an undergraduate student. She learned about the organization from another student, who first opened up the idea of working with kids in the garden as a career. “I didn’t think something that perfect existed” and she immediately applied for an internship position at Life Lab. Elena remembers the uplifting sensation of stepping foot for the first time onto the bountiful Santa Cruz garden and being welcomed by a community of like-minded individuals. She started leading a variety of field trips during the school year, and then continued on to lead the aftercare camp programs in the summer. During this time, she’s also contributed to reflections around “culturally responsive gardens and decolonizing nature education.”

In September, Elena will be moving back to Oakland, California. Energized by her experience at Life Lab, she wants to leverage her experience as a garden educator, either within a public school or within a nonprofit specializing in outdoor education or community gardening/outreach. She has supported a large range of children, and particularly enjoys working with preschoolers. During her experience at Life Life, she said she always got a kick “watching the faces that kids make when tasting a fruit or vegetable for the first time. I get to witness that initial curiosity, which turns into bravery, risk taking, an unending second of consideration, and then either a smile and thumbs up, or some chewed up produce on the ground. It never fails to make it all feel so worth it!”

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4 days ago

Life Lab

🌱Calling all Garden Educators!🌱We are excited to announce Life Lab’s 2023 Workshop schedule! Join us for a workshop at our Garden Classroom to get inspiration and information on bringing learning to life in the garden! 2023 Workshops:🌻 Responsive Classroom Management 4/21/23 🌱The Growing Classroom 8/24-8/25/23🔎 NGSS 9/14/23🍎 Plant to Plate 10/12/23To register and for more info please visit: lifelab.org/gcworkshops P. S. Sign up 14 days in advance to receive a discount on your registration! #LIFELab #gardeneducation #gardeneducator #outdoorclassroom #education #schoolgarden #gardeninginschools #gardenclassroom #cookingclassroom

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3 months ago

Life Lab

Become a Life Lab Certified Gardener! 🌱🌻Based 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! We’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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4 months ago

Life Lab

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

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9 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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9 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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9 months ago

Life Lab

We are so glad to be a part of this year’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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11 months ago

Life Lab

Rainbow Chips 📗🌱📙🍊📕🍅In this lesson students introduce themselves, create group agreements, listen to a story about a rainbow, and then go on a search for different colors in order to begin to form a personal connection with the #gardenclassroom .Also, we just wanted to show this really awesome squash gradience 😄#gardenbasededucation #NGSS #scienceinthegarden #schoolgarden #NGSGintheGarden

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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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