STEM Certificate Program

Registration for the Summer 2014 Cohort Now Closed. Information for the Winter 2015 cohort coming soon!

What is the STEM Certificate Program?

The Christa McAuliffe Center at Framingham State University has partnered with PTC to provide professional development through the STEM Certificate Program for K-12 educators throughout New England. The main objective of the McAuliffe-PTC STEM Certificate Program is to improve educator effectiveness in STEM education. The program includes:

  • Synchronous, online lectures instructed by industry and education experts,
  • Hands-on sessions focused on how to author STEM curriculum for the K-12 classroom,
  • Teacher-authored STEM curriculum available for use by Massachusetts educators,
  • Industry and higher education mentoring,
  • Presentation opportunities for teachers to exhibit best practice STEM education, and
  • Donations from industry including curriculum packages, instructor contact hours, software donations (worth $50K), and professional consulting.

The STEM Certificate Program focuses primarily on Product Development Education, an interdisciplinary, project-based curriculum model rooted in engineering/design education as well as industry practices. What distinguishes Product Development Education from current engineering/design models is integration of industry practices as well as a framework for integrating multiple disciplines across the school curriculum. To visit the national STEM Certificate Program website, click here

How is the STEM Certificate Program Organized?

The STEM Certificate Program is divided into two parts: a foundations course (lecture-based) and an authoring course (project-based). The first section is a series of synchronous online lectures in which teachers are introduced to the interdisciplinary nature of product development with special attention to its application in industry and K-12 education. The second section involves an authoring course dedicated to training teachers how to develop STEM curriculum using the PTC Creativity Lab framework.


The foundations course is generally delivered in a blended learning format, with both face-to-face and online class meetings. Participants are able to connect to the online class meetings from any location with a strong Internet connection. Class meetings are not asynchronous – participants are required to attend at the designated times in order to participate fully in the program.

The second section of the STEM Certificate Program is the curriculum authoring course. Using the PTC Creativity Lab framework, teachers are equipped with a classroom-ready framework for designing and implementing Product Development Education. Teachers are supplied with two resources: a collection of best practice curriculum units and step-by-step authoring guides for classroom development.

Who Can Participate in the STEM Certificate Program?

K-12 educators are invited to participate, regardless of the subject(s) they teach. Previous participants have ranged from elementary to high school level, and teach a variety of subjects including Science, Engineering, Visual Arts, Reading, Math, and more.

Because the program focuses largely on integrated STEM education, you do not need to be a teacher of STEM topics to benefit from the STEM Certificate Program.

We strongly recommend that you apply for participation in the program with other educators from your school. Feedback from previous program participants indicates that the experience is greatly improved by having multiple colleagues from the same institution participate together. This also facilitates cross-curricular unit development.

How Many Graduate Credits and/or PDPs are available?

The course is available for 3.0 graduate credits, and the practicum for 2.0 graduate credits, making the entire program worth 5.0 credits. Participants can opt to receive graduate credit or PDPs only. The entire program is worth 62.5 PDPs (without graduate credit).

When is the STEM Certificate Program Offered?

The STEM Certificate Program is offered two different times throughout the calendar year, including Winter and a condensed version in the Summer. The full length of the program depends on the time of year of the offering – during the school year, the winter program is spread out (approximately six months in total) in order to accommodate demands from school, while the summer offering is condensed into a shorter period of time (approximately four months).

How Do Teachers Benefit by Participating in the Program?

Educators who successfully complete the program will receive:

  • A STEM Certificate of Completion
  • Access to an online curriculum repository including custom instructional units in STEM topics designed by fellow program participants
  • A PTC software package worth approximately $50K
  • At least 62.5 PDPs (more if taken for graduate credit)
  • Access to the PTC Creativity Lab: STEM Curriculum Authoring Toolkit
  • The opportunity to qualify their schools to be a PTC STEM Academy (receiving a software grant for in-class use)
  • Experience in online video collaboration technologies
  • Professional contacts within PTC and the Christa McAuliffe Center
  • Opportunities outside of the program to present professional development workshops through the McAuliffe Center

What is the Cost of the STEM Certificate Program?

The partnership with PTC to offer this program has significantly decreased the program cost so that participants pay only the following fees:

  1. Basic registration fee of $510. This is the minimum fee that each participant will pay for registration in the program and is non-refundable and non-transferable.
  2. Graduate Credit Fee: Participants interested in receiving graduate credit through Framingham State University for the program, there is an additional fee of $75 per credit hour (5.0 total credit hours x 75.00 = $375.00) that will go to the University. This fee is in addition to the minimum registration fee of $510. Graduate credit participants would therefore end up paying a total of $885 for the entire program.

Registering for the STEM Certificate Program

Registration for the next available program offering is posted below. Please review the program requirements before submitting your registration. If you have questions, please contact Alyssa Walker at 508.626.4057, or by email: You can also join our distribution list to receive program information and announcements by signing up for our newsletter at the top right of this page.


Registration for the Summer 2014 Cohort Now Closed

We are looking forward to kicking off the Summer 2014 cohort, which will run from July – November. Please review the following program requirements carefully before registering below:

1. Software requirements: In order to participate fully in the program, all participants must have access to a computer that runs the Windows operating system. It can be a Mac or PC, but it MUST have the Windows operating system installed.

2. Required Class Meetings: Please review the class meeting dates and times below before registering for the program. You will be responsible for the information provided in this table.

Date Time Delivery Format
FOUNDATIONS COURSE (PHASE I) Thurs, July 10 9am-12pm Face-to-face (F2F), PTC Needham
Tues, July 15 9am-12pm Live webinar
Thurs, July 17 9am-12pm Live webinar
Tues, July 22 9am-12pm Live webinar
Thurs, July 24 9am-12pm Live webinar
Tues, July 29 9am-12pm Live webinar
Thurs, July 31 9am-12pm F2F, PTC Needham
AUTHORING COURSE(PHASE II) August 5, 6, OR 7 (you are only required to attend ONE of these three dates) 8:30-4:30pm F2F, PTC Needham
Wed, August 13 7-8:30pm Live webinar
Wed, August 27 7-8:30pm Live webinar
Wed, September 10 7-8:30pm F2F, PTC Needham
Wed, September 24 7-8:30pm Live webinar
Wed, October 8 7-8:30pm Live webinar
Wed, October 22 7-8:30pm Live webinar
Wed, November 12 6-9:00pm F2F, PTC Needham

If you have reviewed the above requirements and have ensured that you can meet all of them, we invite your registration to the Summer 2014 STEM Certificate Program.

Eventbrite - STEM Certificate Program Summer 2014