|The Living Lab Program serves the local community and supports the mission of the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society, and the Interpretive Plan of the Bellevue Botanical Garden by providing quality science and botany-related educational opportunities for youth.|
Our volunteer group has returned year after year to have fun with the kids and assist the staff teachers with classes. Teachers in the Bellevue School District receive a program announcement several months before the classes begin for the spring and fall sessions. They select the activity that relates to their class level.
Students usually come to the Garden from 9:30am to 11:00 am unless special arrangements have been made. Classes are divided into two smaller groups that participate in grade-specific activities related to the topic for the day (see list of activities, descriptions and grade level for each). Groups rotate through the 2 or 3 activities planned for the day.
Participating teachers and their students, volunteer helpers and staff teachers are asked to evaluate their experiences with the Living Lab Program. Judging from their comments, they feel this free program, funded by the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society, is valuable and serves the community well. Hands-on learning is fun and educational for all ages!
Hey kids, test your garden skills
The Living Lab Program has been in existence at the Bellevue Botanical Garden since 1994. The original program objective was to offer plant and water-related classes to third and fourth grade students in the Bellevue School District. In those early days, the City of Bellevue Utilities Department supported the program. The Department supplied the funding and a program coordinator. Volunteers taught the classes.
In 1996, two staff teachers were hired. In 1999 the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society assumed full responsibility for the financial and administrative functions of the program. A professional program coordinator/ developer and two professional staff teachers were hired. The program was expanded from two days to three days per week during the spring and a fall session was added. Volunteers were trained to assist staff teachers. Grade level offerings increased to include K-5. All activities align with the Washington State Standards for Social Studies and Science, the EALRS and CBAs.
Wood Works for kindergarten
All activities are interactive, fun, hands-on, and aligned with the Washington State Standards for Science. Download our flyer for complete class descriptions.
Living Lab is a lot of learning