Life Lab

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

Educator Certification Program:

Become a Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educator!


Building on Life Lab’s 40 years of experience in the school garden movement, we’ve updated and put together a series of 4 virtual courses that will guide and support educators in becoming a Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educator. Upon completion of the full series of 4 courses, participants will receive a certificate and the distinction of being a Life Lab – Certified Garden Educator! Due to demand, educators must sign up for the full series.  We are not offering individual course sign-ups at this time.

$1,400 for all 4 courses and the certification

Tiny Garden Cracker

Course Details:

Growing Environmental Stewards in the School Garden

Develop a child’s love of nature and support their social emotional wellbeing through garden-based activities.  Participants in this course will learn how to set up their garden classroom as a safe and welcoming space that is inclusive and respectful of all living things. We will learn gardening tips and tricks with children while also demonstrating activities that engage children in using their senses to explore the natural world. Additionally, we will explore best practices in mindfulness and social emotional learning through an equity lens and how to incorporate this into the garden classroom.  

Live Sessions:

Tuesdays 3:30 - 5:00 PST

Sept 5rd

Sept 12th

Sept 19th

Sept 26th

Growing Engaged Learners in the School Garden

Learn to use a garden to breathe life into standards-based lessons based on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core Language Arts and Math. Participants in this course will also explore best practices for establishing and maintaining a positive, engaging culture of learning and fun in a garden setting. We will learn how to set the tone for equitable and inclusive instruction; garden class routines; and specific techniques to maximize student engagement and participation using Life Lab’s The Growing Classroom activity guide for grades K-6 and our newly released NGSS-aligned lessons. 

Live Sessions:

Tuesdays 3:30 - 5:00 PST

Oct 3rd

Oct 10th

Oct 17th

Oct 24th

Growing Children’s Wellbeing in the School Garden

Make the connection from seed to table in this empowering course! Using tried-and-true Life Lab lessons and recipes for grades K-8, participants will explore effective ways to teach nutrition and encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables through hands-on garden-based activities. We will demonstrate important routines for preparing and enjoying healthy food with kids such as, harvesting from the garden, kitchen and garden tool safety, and group and materials management. We will also learn different approaches to crop planning, composting and regenerative agriculture that inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.

Live Sessions:

Tuesdays 3:30 - 5:00 PST

Oct 30th ** This class will be held on a Monday**

Nov 7th

Nov 14th

Nov 21st

Growing Resilient, Empowered Communities in the School Garden

Why do some school gardens take root and become well-established, while others struggle? In this course, we will discuss key elements of building a strong school garden culture. Together, we’ll explore different, sustainable school garden program models; planning tools to align year-round garden activities with academic and garden care goals; methods for assessing garden programs; and strategies for increasing funding.

Live Sessions:

Tuesdays 3:30 - 5:00 PST

Nov 28th

Dec 5th

Dec 12th

Dec 19th


Students’ Enthusiasm

Saw marked improvements in students’ enthusiasm for learning after attending our workshops, in 2019.


Social & Emotional Skills

Saw marked improvements in students’ social and emotional skills (i.e. interpersonal skills, responsibility, cooperation) after attending our workshops, in 2019.

Educators Trained

*Number reflects participants of in-person workshops, virtual workshops and webinars since 2013

Students Reached

*Number reflects students reached as reported by participants of in-person workshops, virtual workshops and webinars since 2016

Join the Movement!

At Life Lab, we believe the world needs informed, inspired, creative, and collaborative leaders, ready with the skills and the motivation they need to work for justice, sustainability, and healthy communities. And we believe that the garden is an ideal space for growing just such leaders! Now, more than ever, we need dedicated educators to lead children in cultivating a love of learning, healthy food and connection to our natural world through garden-based education. 

Upon completion of the 4 courses, participants will receive a certificate and the distinction of being a Life Lab-Certified Garden Educator.

The courses are designed to support leading students in face-to-face learning, however modifications for potential distance learning opportunities will be embedded in each course while COVID restrictions are still a reality. University of the Pacific graduate education credits are available (8 credits for the entire certification series)

Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educators

Course Facilitators

Regi is from North Carolina and spent most of their time growing up barefoot, playing outside when they weren’t outside they could be found inside, eating good food. That passion for the intersection of food, play and the outdoors is at the intersection of the work Regi does today. Their combined interest led them to a career in food education which started in New Orleans. While living in New Orleans they developed curriculum and expertise in building relationships with students in the outdoors. As a bridge builder and life long learner Regi sees the immense power of relationship building across similarities and differences and uses the outdoor classroom to encourage students to take social and academic risks that enable them to drive their own learning. When Regi isn’t teaching the Certification Course they can be found writing curriculum, playing outside or having a snack.
Regi Jones
Lead Educator
Kelsey is the Education Program Associate at Life Lab. Kelsey and is responsible for managing the logistics that support Life Lab’s curriculum and professional development for educators. Kelsey is from Santa Cruz, CA. She attended UC Santa Barbara and prior to Life Lab, worked as a professional artist for over 10 years. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, surfing, traveling, hiking, and gardening.
Kelsey Cerdas

Thanks for joining Life Lab in supporting garden-based education!

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