What is STEM?  What are STEM Clock Hours?  Do I need STEM Clock Hours?  


STEM is a curriculum, career or content way of thinking that integrates Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  Contrary to some opinion, STEM is not connecting those content areas into a lesson but rather, the deep integration of content that allows for application and problem solving.

STEM clock hours are a new layer on renewing teacher certifications.  “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, with an emphasis on STEM integration to meet this renewal requirement.” (Professional Education Standards Board)  This requirement applies to several teaching endorsements, including: Elementary Education (K-8), Secondary Math and Science, Designated Sciences and CTE.  Check the website for your specific certification.   In order to qualify, your clock hour certificate or transcript must clearly state, STEM.

The State of Washington is fairly specific as to what professional development qualifies for this requirement.  Those offering professional development for this requirement, must be able to answer “Yes” to the following questions:

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

If you are a Central Valley teacher, there are a couple of ongoing opportunities to earn STEM clock hours.

  • iTEach STEM occurs monthly during the 2016-17 school year
  • STEM Online is a part of the Science Online classes

For more information or to learn about more STEM opportunities, contact Jennifer Chase (jchase@cvsd.org)

For other Washington State certification questions, I found this article by Maren Johnson to be extremely informative.