STEM Clock Hours

What is the STEM professional development requirement for certificate renewal?

As of September 1, 2019, renewal applications for Initial, Residency, Professional, and Continuing teacher and Initial/Continuing CTE certificates require completion of at least 15 clock hours, or at least one goal from an annual professional growth plan (PGP), and an emphasis on STEM integration.

STEM integration is the authentic combination of at least two of the STEM components (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). The requirement applies to the following endorsement areas:

  • Agriculture
  • Business and Marketing
  • Computer Science
  • CTE (All areas)
  • Designated Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Physics
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Mathematics; Middle Level Mathematics
  • Science; Middle Level Science
  • Technology Education

A full list of applicable endorsement areas is available on the Professional Educator Standards Board webpage.

The STEM certificate renewal requirement is considered to be met by holders of a valid National Board Certificate. Please see the State of Washington Professional Educator Standards Board STEM Renewal Requirement page.

Approving STEM Clock Hours

Approved providers may offer STEM clock hours and are able to independently vet each offering to ensure the course meets the intent of the STEM clock hour requirement. STEM clock hours are to be offered on a case-by-case basis provided the course qualifies by meeting the Criteria and Guiding Questions.


  1. The intent of the RCW is to ensure students have exposure to authentic STEM integration experiences which align to state learning standards including information about STEM-related career choices. The intent is for educators to incorporate the learning from the STEM activity within their professional practice such as a classroom or professional development opportunity (PLC, staff meeting, district level workshop, etc.).
  2. The educator must participate in or demonstrate implementation of a STEM activity. The learning or activity must demonstrate authentic integration of science, technology, engineering and math, incorporating at least 2 of the 4 STEM elements. Only one element out the STEM learning experience is not considered an authentic STEM experience.

Guiding Questions

Providers of STEM-related continuing education should design workshops / course offerings to ensure educators will meet the renewal requirement by answering "YES" to all of the following questions.

  1. Will the STEM activity have an impact on STEM experiences for students?
  2. Does the STEM activity provide examples or resources to use with students or with other educators?
  3. Does the STEM activity provide examples or resources about STEM-related career choices to use with students?