Life Lab

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

New Edition of The Growing Classroom!

A brand new edition of our most popular garden and nutrition activity guide is hot off the presses! The 4th Edition of The Growing Classroom includes new and updated hands-on activities to bring learning to life for elementary school students. There is a new chapter [...]

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2012 ~ Family Gardening Book

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2011 ~ City of Santa Cruz Declares May 1, 20ll “Garden Classroom Day”

Santa Cruz City Council Member David Terrazas surprised us all at our May Day Benefit Brunch by declaring the day Garden Classroom Day in the City of Santa Cruz. The resolution was officially proclaimed at the May 10 city council meeting. View the Mayor's Proclamation [...]

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Life Lab’s Oral History

Life Lab’s Oral History

Four key figures in Life Lab's history have been documented as part of UCSC's Cultivating a Movement: An Oral History Series on Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming on California's Central Coast.   This oral history project conducted by the Regional Oral Hi [...]

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30th Anniversary Year In Review

30th Anniversary Year In Review

Our 30th year of brining learning to life in a garden was celebrated with many special events. Thanks to all who celebrated with us. Our School Garden Video Contest had 18 entries, see the winner here. Birthday Essay Series: The Garden: A Master Teacher was wri [...]

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2009 ~ Life Lab Turns 30

For 30 years Life Lab Science Program has been helping students and educators "Watch learning come to life in a garden". Life Lab has trained tens of thousands of educators in over 40 states. We have directly served over 35,000 students in garden-based science, n [...]

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2007 ~ Food, What?! ~ A Youth Empowerment Program

From the early days of the Garden Classroom there were always visions of offering programming for teens. "Food, What?!" has fulfilled that vision: "FOOD, WHAT?!" is a youth empowerment program using food, through sustainable agriculture and health, as the vehic [...]

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2007 ~ The Growing Classroom New Edition!

This new edition of The Growing Classroom is pulished by our friends at the National Gardening Association and help to bring a fresh look and needed revisions to one of the be garden-based learning publications in print. [...]

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CDE Regional Garden Education Center

2006 ~ Garden Classroom Selected as CDE Regional Training Center

In collaboration with the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems the Garden Classroom is selected to serve as the Central Coast Garden-Based Learning Resource Center. The resource center provides free workshops and consulting to school garden programs [...]

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Life Lab in the News 2005-2007

View press from the Salinas Californian, Watsonville Register - Pajaronian, and more. Press 2005-2007 Click album to view and zoom articles. [...]

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Life Lab in the News 2000-2004

Press 2000-2004 Click to view and zoom articles [...]

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Life Lab Garden Store

2001 ~ Field to Market to You

New Leaf Community Markets and Life Lab team up to create a new program called Field-To-Market-To-You. For three years this food systems education program visited classrooms and followed up with a field trip to a grocery store. Students learned about local agricultural [...]

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Garden Classroom 2007

2000 ~ The Garden Classroom: Life Lab’s Model Educational Garden

In 2000 construction begins for the latest chapter in Life Lab's history. In collaboration with the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) The Garden Classroom annually serves thousands of pre-schoolers through adults in garden-based learning a [...]

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2000 ~ The Monterey Bay Science Project

The National Science Foundation Grant which funded the Language Acquisition in Science Education at Rural Schools comes to and end but LASERS continues to thrive through the Monterey Bay Science Project (MBSP). Life Lab becomes a MBSP host site and receives funding thro [...]

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Life Lab in the News 1995-1999

View press from the San Francisco Chronicle, Monterey Herald. Santa Cruz Sentinel, San Jose Mercury, and more. Press 1995-1999 Click to view and zoom articles. [...]

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Garden in Every School

1997 ~ A Garden in Every School

Delaine Eastin the Superintendent of Public Instruction of California Schools declares there should be a garden in every school. Life Lab attends the Garden in Every School Conference. Life Lab writes Getting Started: A Guide for Creating School Gardens which is publ [...]

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1997 ~ Resource Conservation Program – Waste Free Schools

Life Lab teams up with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, the County of Santa Cruz and the City of Santa Cruz, Waste Management and Ecology Action to create the Resource Conservation Project (later known as Waste Free Schools). Life Lab works with students, teac [...]

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1995 ~ LASERS

The National Science Foundation funds Life Lab, from 1995-2001 in the Language Acquisition in Science Education at Rural Schools (LASERS) project. Life Lab starts working with 7 school districts to improve science teaching practices for second language learners. UCSC pa [...]

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4th Grade LLS

1994 ~ 4th-5th Grade Science Curriculum

Videodiscovery publishes 4th and 5th grade Life Lab Science Curriculum. [...]

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Life Lab in the News 1990-1994

View press from the Columbus Dispatch, Santa Cruz Sentinel, and more. Press 1990-1994   Click to view and zoom articles.   [...]

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1992 ~ Life Lab Science Curriculum

Videodiscovery publishes Kindergarten - Third grade science curriculum. This curriculum is disseminated throughout the country training 10s of thousands of educators. < --Life Lab Science Laser Disc Cover [...]

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Life Lab in the News 1985-1989

View press from USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Modesto Bee, and more. Press 1985-1989 Click to view and zoom all 29 articles. [...]

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Life Lab Across the USA

1987 ~ Great Expansion

Going Nationwide and Beyond The United States Department of Education funds Life Lab to disseminate throughout the nation from 1987-1992! The project called the National Diffusion Network sends Life Lab Staff to 38 states Guam and Costa Rica. National Science Founda [...]

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1986 ~ Life Lab Video

The following 14 minute video is a great summary of the impact that Life Lab Science Program has on schools. The power of school gardens has not changed much since 1986, but you will notice that hairstyles and clothing do! Are you one of the people in this video? Add a [...]

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1986 ~ The Growing Classroom Goes National

Addison-Wesley and Life Lab enter into a publishing agreement. The Growing Classroom is promoted and sold across the country. [...]

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Life Lab in the News 1979-1984

Press 1979-1984 Click to view and zoom articles [...]

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1984 ~ Statewide Dissemintation

The California Department of Education funds statewide dissemination of garden-based learning to 10 schools. Friends of the Harvest moves to the Santa Cruz County Office of Education and officially changes names to Life Lab Science Program.   [...]

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1982 ~ The Growing Classroom: Garden-Based Science and Nutrition Curriculum

Life Lab self publishes the first version of The Growing Classroom Activity Guide and creates workshops which are conducted for 10 schools in Santa Cruz County. Life Lab garners its first science award, The WSTA Center of Excellence. Staff start attending regional a [...]

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1979 ~ Life Lab Becomes a Non-Profit

Originally Life Lab was called Friends of the Harvest, a non-profit formed to support community programming. Around this time Gary Appel, co-founder of Life Lab was hired with Title IV C grant funding. An excerpt from the oral history of Robbie Jaffe: He [Gary] cam [...]

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1978 ~ Green Acres School – Life Lab Blossoms

  Early days at Green Acres Green Acres in 1978 and 1982 Life Lab project started at Green Acres School in Live Oak, California in 1978. Life Lab teachers transform a vacant lot into a thriving garden. They start developing curriculum ba [...]

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3 days ago

Life Lab

🌱 Become a Life Lab Certified Educator!🌱

We only have 3 spots left in our new School Garden Educator Certification Program! Sign-up today for the entire series of courses or for individual courses by visiting website, link below. Our first course, Building Connections in the Garden, starts with asynchronous work on January 21st and our first synchronous session will be on January 28th from 3:30 – 5:00 PST. You may continue to sign up through January 27th or until all spots are filled. If needed, we highly encourage you to join the waitlist to get priority registration for our next cohort in the fall of 2021 or should there become spots available.

Upon 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 approximately 8 weeks long and include 4 synchronous meetings, at-home work, and a unique coaching model tailored to each individual’s needs.

lifelab.org/educator-certification-program/ See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

Looking to 2021 with a magnified view of our impact on nature and our connections with each other. A healthy garden is a diverse and sustainable ecosystem full of wonder and beauty in all seasons. #LifeLab #2021 #gardeneducation #science #BetterTogether See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Life Lab

At the beginning of the year, Life Lab launched our Healthy Futures campaign in response to the financial impact of COVID on our programs. We are grateful for our continued partnerships and our resilient staff who had to reimagine our work and how to best serve our local and national communities. The innovative outcome of this process includes new resources such as Next Generation Science in the Garden Curriculum, Life Lab Educator Garden Certification Program, Life Lab Webinar Series, Back Pocket Learning, and more!

2021 is full of potential and positivity, however……

🌱 WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP! 🌱

Our 2020 annual operating budget is $1,300,000 and we’re almost there!!! We are only $12,223 away meeting that goal! Click here ow.ly/FP0950CSIlg to help us reach our before the end of the year. Remember, every little bit goes a long way! 💚

For more information about our Healthy Futures campaign please visit here ow.ly/jwKh50CSIlf. See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

The Life Lab Garden Educators just finished building and installing brand new veggie boxes at one of our partner schools, in Watsonville!!! Can’t wait to see these flourish! 🌱🥕🐝🌻#gardensofgratitude See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

The Life Lab Garden Educators just finished building and installing brand new veggie boxes at one of our partner schools, in Watsonville!!! Can’t wait to see these flourish! 🌱🥕🐝🌻#gardensofgratitude See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

🌱 Become a Life Lab Certified Educator! 🌱

Life Lab is excited to announce our new School Garden Educator Certification Program!

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 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 approximately 8 weeks long and include 4 synchronous meetings, at-home work, and a unique coaching model. It is also possible to sign-up for individual courses separately to learn specific content or brush up on one topic that meets the needs of your program.

Registration for the full certification series opens today, December 7th. Click the link below

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1 month ago

Life Lab

Join us today at 1pm with nutritionist, @jocelyndubin MS, RD for a healthy conversation about nutrition especially during the holidays and the benefits of eating a rainbow. Register at LifeLab.org/events Link is also in our bio #foodismedicine #teachthekids #eatarainbow #LifeLab #schoolgardens See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Life Lab is thrilled to announce the launch of 3 new Next Generation Science in the Garden curriculum units for grades K-2🐝 These units are aligned to #NGSS and written by Life Lab staff supported by experienced classroom teachers and piloted with over 8,000 students across 12 schools. For more info go to LifeLab.org/ngsscurriculum See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Bee a pollinator for Life Lab and donate today! #givingtuesday 🐝 LifeLab.org/donate #supportschoolgardens #gardeneducation #natureisthebestteacher See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Food is medicine! Join us December 6th at 1pm for our next webinar focused on healthy eating choices during the holidays. Learn about nutrition and the benefits of eating a rainbow with @jocelyndubin free registration link in our bio #foodismedicine #organic #delicious #nutricious #gardeneducation #webinar #LifeLab See MoreSee Less

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Stock up your Garden Classroom

Life Lab 40th
Life Lab’s 40th Gala – Sunday, October 13th  Celebrate 40 years of bringing learning to life in gardens. Learn more  
Life Lab's 40th Gala
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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