Tag Archives: Life Lab

Next Generation Science in the Garden Workshop for Grades K-5

Let’s head outside and put earth and life back into Earth and Life Science! Using activities from Life Lab’s award-winning curricula, participants in this workshop learn to use a garden as a meaningful context in which their students can engage in Next Generation Science and Engineering Practices to examine Disciplinary Core Ideas and Cross-Cutting Concepts in science. Where better to explore ecological interdependence, growth and development of organisms, structure and function, adaptation, and the environmental impact of human activity than in an outdoor garden classroom? 2 units of graduate education credit available.

  • How to lead highly contextualized, engaging, hands-on science lessons outdoors
  • How to link garden activities to Next Generation Science Standards
  • How to use garden-based science lessons to reinforce Common Core Math and English Language Arts
  • An activity packet full of garden-based, elementary science lessons cross-mapped to Next Generation Science, and Common Core Math and ELA Standards
  • Inspiration to use the garden as context for exploring earth and life science
  • Strategies for success from Life Lab and other educators engaged in this exciting work
  • Optional: 2 units of education credit from the University of the Pacific ($60/unit)

Santa Cruz Area School Garden Reception and Dinner

On Thursday, December 8th at 5:30pm Life Lab is hosting a reception and dinner with 26 school garden leaders from 16 School Garden Support Organizations from across the country.

They are inviting school garden educators and supporters from the Santa Cruz area, to mix it up and share school garden culture with these garden champions from afar. This will be a stellar and unique opportunity to learn about great school garden work taking place across the country while enjoying some delicious food and drink together in a beautiful, beach-front location!

Please RSVP Here by November 30th to receive specific details, including parking information and more.

Slow Food Santa Cruz: Edible Gardens Tour

This year, the Edible Gardens Tour will travel south to Watsonville school gardens. Come join Slow Food as they explore these programs that engage children and teachers in organic gardening, provide fresh nutritious snacks at recess, and share organic vegetable boxes with the families of participating students. They are excited to help raise awareness and funds for these important programs that bring the Slow Food principals of Good, Clean, and Fair Food to the very population that works in our local fields. By engaging the youth in gardening and producing fresh food, school gardens can help heal the broken systems surrounding conventional agriculture.

Meet at H.A. Hyde Elementary School, starting at 10 a.m. The tour will move to other gardens from there.

There will be an after-party and silent auction to raise funds for Slow Food Santa Cruz and the Watsonville school gardens, starting at 2 p.m., at Elkhorn Slough Brewing!

School’s Out: Who’s Hungry for Health?

Written by: Daiana Baez, FoodCorps Service Member with CAFF and Life Lab

The splash of rocks skipping, the skidding of tires, the sweet whispers of grasshoppers, and the silent buzz of bees are all familiar noises connected with summer. However, perhaps much louder, is the sound of a collective hunger that stirs all season long. The USDA has estimated that 30.3 million children depend on the National School Lunch Program to ease their hunger aches during the school year. Unfortunately, as soon as the last bell rings, only 2.6 million children are fortunate enough to find facilities providing food assistance during the summer. But with the lack of resources, and overwhelming amount of challenges nutrition services facilities face in low-resource, low-income communities, the privilege of health dilutes in a sea of calories and sugar. This summer, nonetheless, food fighters in Pajaro Valley Unified School District together worked to create a nutrition program that reached five different schools, and almost every single student at: Starlight Elementary, Ohlone Elementary, Landmark Elementary, Freedom Elementary, and Cesar Chavez Middle School.

6-plant-part burrito

6-plant-part burrito

To provide PVUSD summer school students with not just calories, but a sample of health, the district’s Teach Project (supported by Grind Out Hunger) provided teams of nutrition educators with enough resources for each of their students to eat a rainbow. Continue reading

How Do You Say “Rake” In Spanish? – Spanish Language Garden Resources

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 12.19.03 PMThis week’s cross blogpost is shared by Life Lab, a 35 year old non-profit based in Santa Cruz, California. As a national leader in garden-based education, Life Lab continues to engage families and youth with ongoing field trips, children’s camp programs, teacher workshops and the teen youth empowerment program “Food, What?!”.

See below for Life Lab’s extensive list of Spanish language resources for your school garden and lessons.

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Peer, What?! Let the Youth Lead!

Roanna_CooperThis week’s guest blog is written by second year FoodCorps California Service Member, Roanna Cooper. Serving two consecutive years with Food, What?!, a youth empowerment program in partnership with Life Lab, Roanna has had the opportunity to be a mentor for countless of youth across Santa Cruz County. Read on to learn about Food, What?! and the youth-led workshops offered.

Peer, What?! Let the Youth Lead!

Beginning in 2013, “Food, What?!” began a partnership with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education to extend its reach to hundreds more youth across the county by offering a peer-to-peer Community Educator Workshop Series in various classrooms throughout Santa Cruz and Watsonville. This has not only allowed FoodWhat to offer hundreds of area youth some of the youth empowerment, food justice and health content utilized in its core programs, but has also provided a unique opportunity for FoodWhat Alumni to step into a strong leadership role with their peers, furthering positive youth development outcomes.

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