The Living Lab

Learning in the Garden

Thought-provoking, conservation-minded lessons aligned to the Sunshine State educational standards

The Mission of The Living Laboratory Program

The mission of the Living Laboratory program is to have each student personally and actively engaged in thought-provoking, conservation-minded lessons that are aligned to the Sunshine State educational standards. Our learners develop an awareness of the land, our resources and our unique biodiversity.

We cover the state-mandated benchmarks and we include hands-on, interactive activities that promote field investigation and personal, conscious, ethical thinking and discussions. We develop environmentally conscious learners.

About The Living Lab

The Living Lab: K-6

The Living Lab program is a collaborative effort between the Key West Botanical Garden and the Monroe County School District, which serves over 3000 children.

Our program actively involves students. Students become “scientists” and collect information to answer questions about the world around them.

What we do

The staff of the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden work with teachers and administrators to create interactive lesson plans for use during garden visits.

Students are welcome to return to the garden to work on their projects. The garden features educational programs throughout the year.

Schedule your class trip

Ready to explore The Living Lab? Contact us to set up your class trip. We work with teachers to coordinate visits and create custom workshops for students. It’s fun. It’s educational. And it’s great to be outside.

 

Education Department 
(305) 849-8733

Explore and download our lesson plans

Simply click on a lesson plan for complete details and to download a copy

Water, water everywhere

Let's investigate the quality of our water by collecting water samples in the garden. Lesson: Water, Water Everywhere Level: 4th Grade Source: The Living Lab Program at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Standards: SC.4.E.6.3: Earth Structures...

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What’s the dirt on dirt?

Learn to protect our dunes and paint with dirt! Lesson: Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition | What’s the Dirt on Dirt? Level: 4th Grade Source: The Living Lab Program at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Standards: SC.4.E.6.4: Earth Structures...

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Fun in the Sun

Explore the sun in the garden, make botanical art prints and learn about alternate energy sources. Lesson: Fun in the Sun Level: 4th Grade Source: The Living Lab Program at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Standards: SC.4.E.6.3: Earth Structures...

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What makes a perfect plant?

What do plants need to survive and thrive? Lesson: Plant Parts & Functions Level: 4th Grade Source: The Living Lab Program at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Standards: SC.4.L.16.1: Heredity and Reproduction SC.4.L.16.2: Heredity and...

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Plants: Is this your home?

Take a scavenger hunt to discover endangered species. Lesson: Native versus Introduced Species Level: 4th Grade Source: The Living Lab Program at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Standards: SC.4.L.16.2: Heredity and Reproduction SC.4.L.16.3:...

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What’s bugging you?

Build a pollinator and learn about the importance of bugs to the ecosystem. Lesson: Insects | What’s Bugging You? Level: 4th Grade Source: The Living Lab Program at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Standards: SC.4.L.16.1: Heredity and Reproduction...

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We are grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences

The Living Laboratory project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services FAIN MA-11-16-0415-16.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums.

Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Help us preserve, develop and expand the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden as an arboretum, botanical garden, museum, wildlife refuge and habitat

What would you like to do today?

Become a member

Memberships include unlimited free admission, special events, gift shop discounts, volunteer opportunities and offers from our partners.

Check events calendar

There's always something to do in the botanical garden and tropical forest. The latest schedules for yoga, plant sales, speaker series and more.

Become a volunteer

Our volunteers get their hands dirty -- or not. We have opportunities for volunteers who love people, plants, trees and animals.

Make a donation

Sustain and preserve our fragile Florida Keys ecosystems. Purchase endangered plants and trees and support educational programs.

Schedule a venue

Wedding? Family reunion? Company outing? Whatever you're planning, our beautiful venues are the perfect setting for your special event.

Explore the Living Lab

We partner with Monroe County schools and teachers to create unique, interactive educational programs for K-6 students.