Growing STEM Education

Tom and Nancy Patten
Tom and Nancy Patten

Nancy ’74, Cred ’75 and Tom Patten ’74, MS ’76 believe that enthusiastic and well-prepared teachers are the key to unlocking the state’s potential for innovation and prosperity.

It is why they are doing what they can to help California meet the increasing demand for professionals in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

“No one has more power than a classroom teacher to reach and excite children about learning,” said Nancy, who discovered her love of teaching after helping another student in high school.

To help train the next generation of STEM teachers, the Pattens have pledged $100,000 to establish a new matching fund for the School of Education: the Next Generation STEM Teaching Award. The fund will support scholarships for School of Education teaching credential students who have the interest, passion and aptitude to teach STEM-related subjects in K-12 public schools.

By preparing UC Davis educators to inspire the next generation of students to pursue STEM majors and careers, California will be in a better position to tap the true potential of its future innovators.

“There is too much poverty, and that cycle begins with lack of opportunities in education,” said Tom, who studied engineering at UC Davis. “Great teachers can make all the difference.”

To support this matching fund, visit