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Tara Laidlaw, Director


I'm an instructor, curriculum designer, teacher trainer, and program manager with more than 13 years of experience at the intersection of formal and informal education.

I'm passionate about using informal education experiences to meet formal education goals, and I love helping place-based programs support the Next Generation Science Standards with engaging STE(A)M offerings to improve scientific and environmental literacy in all students. 

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!

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formal education

MAEd: Natural Science and Environmental Education, Hamline University, 2014

BA Anthropological Sciences with Dance minor, Stanford University, 2008

continuing education & professional learning

Environmental Education Outcomes course, Cornell University Civic Ecology Lab, 2020

Instructional Design & Technology MicroMasters, University System of Maryland via EdX, 2019

Earth Education for Sustainable Societies workshop, Carleton College, 2019

Business Foundations Specialization, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania via Coursera, 2019

American Camp Association accreditation visitor training and volunteering, 2017 to present

Master Gardeners Association of Cape Cod training and volunteering, 2015 to 2019

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

selected publications

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

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