The Living Lab | Learning in the garden

Our Mission

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.

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 visits to the garden.

Students are welcome to return to the garden to work on their projects. The garden features educational programs for students 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 in the gardens!

Education Department 
(305) 849-8733

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 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.

Explore and download our lesson plans

Each of our six lesson plans are created to engage students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Their interactive format ensures students get the most from their learning experience in the botanical garden and tropical forest.

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