STEM Renewal Requirement for Teachers

RCW 28A.410.2212
Washington professional educator standards board — Certificate renewal rules for teachers in STEM-related subjects.
The professional educator standards board shall revise certificate renewal rules for teachers at the elementary and secondary levels in STEM-related subjects by September 1, 2014. The revised rules shall include the requirement that continuing education or professional growth plans for these teachers include a specific focus on the integration of science, mathematics, technology, and engineering instruction.

The STEM renewal requirement

Beginning in 2019, renewal applications for professional and continuing teacher certificates must document completion of at least 15 clock hours, or at least one goal from an annual professional growth plan (PGP), with an emphasis on STEM integration to meet this renewal requirement. STEM integration is the authentic combination of at least two of the STEM components (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

The requirement applies to the following endorsements:
  • Elementary Education (K-8) endorsement 
  • Early Childhood Education (P-3) endorsement 
  • Mathematics (5-12) 
  • Middle Level Math (4-9)
  • Middle Level Science (4-9)
  • Science (5-12)
  • Designated Sciences (5-12): Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Space Science, Physics
  • Technology Education
  • CTE Teachers

Guidance for Educators, School Districts, and professional development providers

The Criteria and Guiding Questions below are meant as a guidance for school districts, ESDs, professional organizations, and other professional development / continuing education providers. Teachers may also use these guidelines as they plan for their professional development. 


  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:

The intent of RCW 28A.410.2212 is to ensure students have exposure to meaningful STEM activities and experiences that model the integration of math, science, technology and engineering.  In order to be considered an authentic integration, at least 2 of the 4 STEM components need to be incorporated. Providers of STEM-related continuing education should design workshops / course offerings to ensure educators will meet the renewal requirement by answering "YES" to 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?

Sound Examples: (not an exhaustive list)

  • Project Lead the Way Summer Training
  • Leading a school-based Washington MESA program
  • Participating in STEM LASER professional development
  • Incorporating a STEM Design challenge within your  classroom
  • Attending a STEM workshop at a conference
  • Participating in a workshop that demonstrates the integration of the STEM disciplines
  • Collaborating with a Math, Science,  Technology, or CTE teacher to implement a project integrating science and technology or math and technology or a design challenge that uses math and science.
  • Participating in professional development offered by a district, ESD, educational organization, etc. that demonstrates the integration of STEM