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Participating teachers and students are asked to evaluate their experiences with the Living Lab Program. Judging from their comments, 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!

“Students enjoyed the tour of the garden, having special areas pointed out to them such as the “bee hotel” and “gnome door.” The students are very happy to have their own hen and chick plant to take home and enjoyed the percolation experiment. Hands-on activities are definitely a plus of this field trip!”   -2nd grade teacher

“My students loved this field trip. They loved all the hands-on activities and games the best. My students were engaged the entire time.”   -3rd grade teacher

“My students loved getting to explore/tour the gardens. They also enjoyed researching a plant and finding it. My class loved our time at BBG. Thank you for hosting this program!”   -5th grade teacher

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.

Field Trips

Living Lab field trips for spring 2024 are full. We are accepting requests for Fall 2024. See below for further information.

 

If you want a tour of the Garden for your class led by a volunteer and without workshop activities, see the Request a Youth Tours page and fill out a request there. We also offer virtual resources for grades K-5 that can be accessed at any time. If you would like a virtual field trip, 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, let us know on your form.

Dates

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

Admission

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.

 

Check out our virtual resources page for videos and activities for grades K-5.

See our Youth & Children’s Workshops page for after school and weekend youth & children programs.

Download grade-specific activities guide

DOWNLOAD GUIDE

Access field trip request form

ACCESS FORM
Thanks to our community partner

Watch the Living Lab story on “Lake to Lake,” courtesy of Bellevue Television.