Tara Laidlaw has worked at the intersection of formal and informal education for nearly 15 years, serving as a program manager, instructional designer, and teacher trainer in a wide range of settings. After seven years as the director of an educational farm in Massachusetts, she returned home to the west coast, where she now specializes in helping place-based, project-based, and informal education programs support the Next Generation Science Standards.
Tara holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropological Sciences from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University. In addition to her work in Oregon, she facilitates NGSS-focused workshops at regional and national conferences, and she writes articles about farm-and garden-based learning for national publications.
Tara is a kind hearted, outstanding educator. She is quoted “While my specialization is farm- and garden-based education, I’m equally at home working in other contexts such as wilderness preserves, summer camps, historic estates, and hybrid online/in-person settings. I love to help programs find creative solutions to drive student and teacher performance in out-of-the-box, outstanding ways. I am out to learn, and I hope you are too!”
Farming The Future is proud to have Tara on our leadership team and look forward to continuing development of creative solutions together. Ms. Laidlaw especially loves working with upper elementary and middle school students. That being so, check out her favorite garden enrichment program for middle school here! You can also access her website here!
Selected Conference Presentations:
- National Association for Interpretation National Conference: “Supporting the Next Gen Science Standards”, 2019
- National Science Teaching Association Area Conference: “Delivering Three-Dimensional Science in Informal Education Settings”, 2019
- American Camp Association Tri-State Conference: “Sneaky Learning: Using Camp to Mitigate Summer Learning Loss”, 2017
- Massachusetts Environmental Education Society Conference: “Advocating for Environmental Education”, 2017, and “Exploring the Garden Ecosystem”, 2014
- Podcasts & Webinars
- Summer Camp Con Online Conference: “STEM is Everywhere: Encouraging a Culture of Inquiry to Combat Summer Learning Loss”, 2019
- Summer Camp Programming Podcast: “SCP 39: S.T.E.M. Programming with Tara Laidlaw”, 2019
- National Association of Geoscience Teachers webinar series: “Developing a Sense of Place: Why Bother?”, forthcoming in 2021
- National Association for Interpretation’s Legacy magazine: “It Happens: Interpreting Manure”, May/June 2019
- Green Teacher magazine: “The Garden as an Integrating Context for Learning: Building cross-curricular connections year-round with sustainable food production”, Spring 2019
- Camp Business magazine: “‘Pond’-ering Science”, September/October 2017