As I travel around the northwest region, I hear teachers talking about their certification renewal and the changes that the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) has implemented for teachers at the elementary and secondary levels in STEM-related subjects (RCW 28A.410.2212). PESB was instructed to revise the renewal rules to require that continuing education or professional growth plans include a specific focus on the integration of science, technology, engineering or math instruction. Those rules have now been implemented and beginning in 2019, when teachers renew their certificate they will need to 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.
The intent of the RCW is to ensure that students have exposure to authentic STEM integration experiences that align to state learning standards including information about STEM-related career choices. Teachers are expected to participate in or demonstrate implementation of a STEM activity as being the authentic integration of science, technology, engineering or math, incorporating at least 2 of the 4 STEM elements. Only one element of the STEM learning experience is not considered an authentic STEM experience.
NWESD has attached a document from PESB that shows renewal options at a glance and some guidelines for the STEM requirement. In the future, NWESD will designate courses meeting this STEM requirement with a rocket icon, shown to the right.