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Life Lab Science Program

Organization Mission

Life Lab cultivates children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education. In the Pajaro Valley, we provide classes for over 5,000 elementary students to explore Next Generation Science, social-emotional well-being, where fruit and vegetables come from, and the environment in garden classrooms in 13 schools. At our farm sites, the Blooming Classroom in Watsonville and the Garden Classroom in Santa Cruz, we promote experiential learning through field trips, summer programs, and teacher workshops.

The Big Idea 2024:
College Interns Growing in the Pajaro Valley

One of the best ways to get children to love learning is to take them outside in nature and let their curiosity go wild with “why” questions:

Why do bees dive into the center of flowers?
Why does corn like to grow next to beans and squash?
Why does worm poop help plants grow?

Children love to learn from nature and from inspiring young adults. That’s why Life Lab is expanding our internships to the Pajaro Valley where college students will teach hands-on lessons to small groups of children in outdoor garden classrooms at elementary schools and farm sites. Together they will explore the life sciences, beauty of nature, and growing and preparing nutritious foods.

For 20 years, Life Lab has trained thousands of college students to become outdoor educators. We’ll train 85-100 in 2024 and will bring college interns to all of the County, with a focus for the first time on the Pajaro Valley.

I would love to bring kids who might not normally experience a garden, to come and learn important things about life and nature. Every time a student is excited about something new, I get another ping of light that leads me to teaching outdoor education.

Kiya A, 1st year college student