The Living Lab Program at the Bellevue Botanical Garden
The Bellevue Botanical Garden Society works in partnership with the City of Bellevue to achieve the Garden’s mission. Part of the Society’s role is to provide a broad range of educational programs to engage, inspire and inform Garden visitors. The Living Lab Classroom Outreach Program serves the local community and is part of our Youth & Children’s Educational Program. This free program provides quality science and botany-related educational opportunities for youth.
We are accepting requests for upcoming field trips. See below for further information.
If you want a tour of the Garden for your class led by a volunteer docent, without workshop activities, then please see the Docent Tours page and fill out a request there. Please also check out our virtual resources page for videos and activities for grades K-5 that can be accessed at any time. If you would like a virtual field trip, please indicate that on your request form. If you are unable to bring your class to the Garden and would like our program to come to you, please indicate that on your form.
We are accepting requests for upcoming field trips. Our fall session typically starts on the third week of September and goes through the third week of October. Our spring session starts the last week of March and goes through the third week in June. In general, we schedule in-person Living Lab field trips on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 am with some flexibility.
Virtual field trips and visits to your school (if that is the best option) can be scheduled for mornings or afternoons.
Our goal is to serve as many schools/groups as possible in a fair, safe, and inclusive way. You can make as many requests as you like. However, we will be considering how many groups are coming from the same school and limiting that to two grade levels per Fall or Spring session.
Request a Field Trip
Requests are open to public and private elementary school teachers and home school groups. Download the Guide to the thematic grade-specific activities we offer. Requests should be made using our online form.
Free to all students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The suggested donation is $5 per student to cover material costs.
Our Staff and Volunteers
The Living Lab School Program is run by a staff of professional teachers, as well as our amazing volunteers. We strive to provide your students with a positive field trip experience.
If you have questions about volunteering with Living Lab, email us. Current volunteers may sign up on Volgistics New volunteers can apply online.
Field Trip Formats
In-person Field Trips
These field trips/workshops are in-person at the garden with a choice of the thematic grade-specific workshops. We can take up to 60 students. If you have more students than that, you will need to request two dates.
A curriculum has been developed for each grade level (K-5). Each workshop aligns well with the Washington State Next Gen science standards and math or social studies current CORE curriculum, as well as the Bellevue and Lake Washington school districts, and many private school curricula. There is a list of standards available for teachers for each workshop. For those teachers who have participated in the past, we have made some changes to the curriculums mostly to increase hands-on learning, student directed learning, COVID safety, and time outdoors. Download the Guide to the thematic grade-specific activities we offer.
Virtual field trips
Virtual field trips have allowed us to reach out to classrooms that have been unable to visit us in-person at the Garden. The field trips take place on the classroom’s platform (MS Teams, Zoom, etc.). The classroom teacher acts as the moderator and the Living Lab staff serve as virtual guest instructors. There is one topic for all ages and one topic for older students. CLICK HERE for the two topics we are offering.
In-school Pilot Program
We will be offering a limited number of spots to classrooms that would like us to bring our program to your school site. We would be offering the same curriculum that is listed above for in-person workshops with whatever modifications are needed for being at a school site. If you are interested in having your classroom test this program with us, please email us.
Please also check out our virtual resources page for videos and activities for grades K-5.
Please see our Youth & Children’s Workshops page for after school and weekend youth & children programs.