RUSD Teachers Receive Grant to Complete UCR Extension’s Professional Certificate in STEM Education Program

Bringing the region's classrooms up-to-speed for today's STEM learners.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — John Robertson is an Instructional Services Specialist in K-12 Science, PE, and Health at Riverside Unified School District. He was invited by UCR Extension to serve on the Advisory Board that developed its STEM Education Professional Certificate program. He is also involved with the Science Renaissance Project, a teacher training program at Riverside Unified School District. When Robertson connected the dots between the UCR Extension and RUSD programs, it led to 20 RUSD teachers receiving funding and registering for UCR Extension’s STEM program.

RUSD teachers receive their Professional Certificate in STEM Education from UCR Extension.

Robertson explained that “the Science Renaissance Project’s training sequence is available to all elementary teachers in the district, and is an integral part RUSD’s elementary science adoption strategy. Because STEM awareness has grown significantly in the region and, in particular, RUSD, our School Board has made STEM education a high priority. Serving on UCR Extension’s Advisory Board allowed me to contribute to a program that I feel is a great way to motivate and engage teachers that are new to science content. The two programs were natural partners.”

After two years of hard work, the first 13 teachers earned their Professional Certificates in STEM Education this summer. The remaining 7 are in the process of completing the capstone assignments. The graduating teachers come from elementary schools across RUSD.

STEM is a curriculum focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics—and it’s what is trending in today’s 21st century classrooms. STEM occupations are growing at 17 percent, while other occupations are growing at 9.8 percent. STEM degree holders have a higher income even in non-STEM careers. Currently, the U.S. is falling behind internationally, ranking 29th in math and 22nd in science among industrialized nations. Only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in math and successfully move into STEM careers. In order for the United States to keep pace as a global leader, this needs to change.

The goal is to now move American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math, and have them pursue jobs in STEM fields.  Together, UCR Extension and Riverside Unified School District are doing their parts to make STEM education a priority, ensuring that the region’s teachers are adequately trained to give all students the opportunity to reach their full STEM potential.

To learn more about the STEM Education Professional Certificate, visit or email or call (951) 827-1032. For more information on RUSD’s Science Renaissance Project, call (951) 788-7135.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

Additional Contacts

Abril Chavando
Tel: (951) 827-1032

RUSD Science Renaissance Project
Tel: (951) 788-7135

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