If School Elements - 308 – Life Lab
We are implicitly connected to the natural world, yet urbanization can make us complacent to this concept.
The Life Lab brings an intensive agriculture space into the school environment. It allows for students to run trials on plants using controlled variables and even innovate new ways to help plants keep us alive.
The Life Lab is not limited to plants though, as other organisms are present to learn from. There are habitats to grow a variety of fungi and single celled organism for deeper study, as well as common animals to help build bonds between the students and the living world.
While the Life lab may originate from the traditional biology lab, it provides much more. There are spaces for students to set up controlled experiments, materials to help students develop their own lines of inquiry, and areas set aside for food production that is used on campus as a food source.
The Life Lab also hosts a variety of organisms that can inspire us and teach us on how we can imitate nature to create a more sustainable planet for all.
There are a few key ideas that we endeavor to always have as part of our Life Lab experience:
- Abundance – We believe we are on a planet with abundant resources, and learning about nature provides insight into this force.
- Resilience – Through repeating trials and recognizing stand out traits our students become aware of the amazing variety of ways life has adapted to survive.
- Biophilia – Love nature, and you will strive to save it.
- Biomimicry – What can we innovate that nature has not already explored in its many billions of years of trial and error.
Here is some media for you if you want to explore the concept of Situated Learning further:
- TED Talk on Biomimicry by Janine Benyus – part of the reason we need to keep this in mind as we move forward
- Beyond Ecophobia by David Sobel – A great read to understand why it is critical to love nature and not worry about it’s welfare at any given moment
- Biophilia by EO Wilson – this book is a personal account of how to develop a love of nature from a brilliant mind of our generation