AMSE K-12 Lookbook

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APPLIED MATH, SCIENCE, & ENGINEERING INSTITUTE Mission: to prepare the next generation of Christian STEM innovators Valley Christian Schools’ STEM program, the Applied Math, Science, & Engineering (AMSE) Institute, provides K-12 students with a pipeline of inspiration, instruction, and experiences to fuel their passion for knowledge. With outstanding faculty, world-class facilities, and one-of-a-kind opportunities, AMSE strives to live out its mission to prepare the next generation of Christian STEM innovators. AMSE INSTITUTE CONTACT 100 Skyway Drive, San Jose, CA 95111 | Telephone: 408.513.2400 | | vcsamse | vcsamse
Table of Contents Discover AMSE | Elementary 4 Junior AMSE | Junior High 5 AMSE Institute | High School 6 AMSE High School Participation 8 AMSE Requirements 11 AMSE Programs 12


Discover AMSE is the elementary branch of the Applied Math, Science, and Engineering Institute and introduces young learners to the world of math, science, and engineering. Designed to enhance the elementary school’s engaging math and science curriculum, Discover AMSE provides a variety of enrichment and after-school offerings to spark interest and lay the foundation for future success.


Agri-Tech (4th Grade)

Students participate in the Agri-Tech class, introducing them to innovative farming methods such as hydroponics and vertical growth towers.

Quest for Space International Space Station (5th Grade)

This pioneering platform allows students to conduct a variety of activities and experiments for analysis on Earth and space and run their experiments on the International Space Station.


Agri-Tech (1st & 2nd Grade)

Cultivate young gardeners’ natural curiosity and wonder while growing healthy habits for life in this hands-on after-school program.

Math Team (3rd – 5th Grade)

Students earn self-confidence and learn how to tackle problems without fear through participation in the Math Team. Mentored by high school Math Team students, elementary team members gain new math skills in this after-school program and compete in local Math League tournaments.

Ocean Discovery (Kindergarten - 3rd Grade)

Discover what lies beneath the ocean deep in our after-school Ocean Discovery program. This hands-on experience builds curiosity and inspires scientific understanding of ocean life.

Robotics (3rd – 5th Grade)

The RoboQuest program is designed to introduce students to the exciting world of robotics through hands-on learning and engaging activities where they will use their skills to build their own robot.


Junior Applied Math, Science, and Engineering (AMSE) provides junior high students with excellent facilities and unique opportunities to inspire future mathematicians, scientists, and engineers, all while preparing them for our Valley Christian High School AMSE Institute programs. The Junior AMSE Institute offers a variety of after-school programs and elective to enhance and expand on the comprehensive math, science, and STEM elective course offering.


The online application for Junior AMSE membership and distinction is open year round in the Parent Portal.


Members stay up to date on AMSE news and activities with no obligation for participation. Students may join at any time. Members are eligible to participate in AMSE after school programs.


Students commit to participate in a minimum of two AMSE programs or electives by the end of 8th grade. An AMSE pin of distinction will be presented to qualifying students at VCJH graduation. (Participation in one program and one elective will also qualify.)


Ocean Discovery


Health & Wellness, Math Team, International Space Station, Ocean Discovery, RoboQuest Robotics


Our STEM program, the Applied Math, Science, and Engineering (AMSE) Institute provides students with a pipeline of inspiration, instruction, and experiences to help them become successful innovators and world-changers. Students receive unique training from industry professionals, helping them to gain real-world experience and become future leaders in their field. AMSE Institute after-school programs uniquely complement the comprehensive math, science, engineering, and technology courses offered at Valley Christian High School.


The AMSE Institute plans to offer twenty-one after-school STEM programs for high school student in the 2023/24 school year. While some programs require a full year commitment, many are semester-based; the majority of programs meet one to two days per week. The demand for AMSE programs is high and the selection process varies between programs. Our goal is to involve all interested students. Some programs have no cap on student enrollment; however, placement in highly competitive, selection- programs is not guaranteed. All AMSE programs require a fee. Find the full list of AMSE Programs at


The AMSE Institute offers several levels of participation designed to offer distinct pathways for broad involvement and recognizing high achieving students in their respective fields. All incoming students are encouraged to apply for AMSE Membership, as it is required for program participation and will keep students up to date on STEM opportunities throughout the year. Students seeking an in-depth level of participation and graduation recognition should apply as an AMSE Honors student. The AMSE Honors Fellow program is reserved for 11th & 12th grade students only. Please review the AMSE Requirements chart on page 11.

Important Details

AMSE participation requirements are to be completed over a student’s four years of high school and are not required annually.

Students with a deep passion for both the STEM and artistic fields can apply for the AMSE Artist Honors program, giving them an opportunity to participate in both AMSE and Conservatory activities without overloading their schedules. Find additional information on the Conservatory of the Arts web page.


Applying to the AMSE Institute is a two-step process.

Apply to be an AMSE Member, AMSE Honors, or AMSE Artist Honors student. The application is open year-round and can be found at Apply for an AMSE Program. Specific program applications open each year in the summer and are available for a limited time. For programs with space available in the second semester, additional applications will open in December.

Find the applications at



AMSE Membership

AMSE Membership is open to all VCHS students. AMSE Members will be eligible to apply for and participate in AMSE programs, and will also receive invitations to AMSE special events and the AMSE newsletter.

AMSE Honors

AMSE Honors participants enjoy the benefits of AMSE membership, while committing to participate at a higher level with program, GPA, and research requirements. AMSE Honors students will receive a cord of distinction to wear on graduation day.

AMSE Honors Fellows

AMSE Honors Fellows experience elite opportunities and is designed for outstanding 11th and 12th grade students to work alongside VCS Program Managers for a unique, year-long learning experience conducting specialty research in a specific field of interest.


Join our growing community of innovative students by joining the AMSE Institute. The AMSE Institute offers a three-tiered program model: Membership, Honors, and Honors Fellows, plus an option to combine AMSE and Conservatory participation with the AMSE Artist Honors program. These distinct pathways recognize the top high achieving students in their respective fields while broadening the scope of student involvement. Students must complete these requirements by the end of their senior year.

Find the applications at





AMSE & BEI Programs

In-depth research activities

• Aeronautics Level 2, Level 3, & Advanced

• Agri-Tech Level 2

• BEI Quest Incubator

• Health & Wellness Level 2 & 3

• Health & Wellness (2 sem. of Physical and/or Mental Health)


• Robotics FRC Competition Team

• XPRIZE Avatar

• XPRIZE Carbon

• XPRIZE Rainforest

• XPRIZE Wildfire

High School Courses

Advanced research-based coursework

• Scientific Research

• Anatomy & Physiology Honors

• AP Computer Science Principles

• Advanced Business Honors

• Advanced Data Analysis

• Entrepreneurship Honors


Alternate research opportunities

• Synopsys Science & Technology Fair

• Quest Summer STEAM Intensive

• Pre-Approved External Agency Internship


*Participation in the BEI Quest Incubator or DECA programs will receive AMSE program credit.

**Only one research project is required (overall, not per category.)

Requirement Honors Fellow AMSE-Approved Research Project (see chart below) 1 1 AMSE Programs* 1 2 Years of Science 4 4 Years of Math 4 4 GPA 3.8+ 4.0+ Advanced Placement (AP) Courses 2 4
ISS Research Lab
AMSE Artist Honors Requirements Number Conservatory Declaration of Area of Emphasis Yes Years of Science 3 Years of Math 4 AP Courses 2 Discipline-Specific Conservatory Courses 3 Discipline-Specific Conservatory Extra-Curriculars (Shows, private lessons, etc.) 4 AMSE Program* 1 GPA 3.6



There are two distinct options available for Aeronautics program involvement. Each provide students with opportunities in the field of Aeronautics, where students will explore the science behind flight through an investigation of the elements of aeronautics, fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, launch systems, and flight mechanics. Students will learn about technologies in the growing field of aeronautical engineering. Level 1 is introductory for new students to the program. Advanced Aeronautics includes an in-depth research project that fulfills the AMSE Research Project requirement for AMSE Honors and Honors Fellow students. The prerequisite for the Advanced program includes completion of the Aeronautics Level 1 program.


Pursuing innovation in the field of agriculture with sustainability as its focus, students will cultivate the Agri-Tech Garden space and explore various agri-science technologies including hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics. Students will explore the relationship between humans, organisms, and the environment as well as understand what it takes to manage soil, water, crops, diseases, pests, energy, and waste.

The Level 1 program is introductory and a semester in length. Each semester offers unique learning opportunities. Both new and repeat students are welcome. The Level 2 program is a year-long program that includes an in-depth research project and requires prerequisite fulfillment of Agri-Tech Level 1 completion.


The Astronomy Program provides students with opportunities in the field of astronomy while exploring careers and interfacing with industry professionals. Utilizing the VCS observatory remotely, students integrate math, physics, chemistry, and astrophysics projects.


CyberQuest is a comprehensive new program that provides students with a fundamental understanding of cybersecurity. The program comprises 4 independent, hands-on labs that cover a range of cybersecurity topics and equip students with industry-standard tools. These labs and classes aim to teach wireless hacking, web application hacking, host hardening, network security fundamentals, and other valuable skills.



Drone Soccer is a new and exciting program that introduces students to the fastest-growing robotics sport in the world. Students will enjoy in-person and virtual program sessions focusing on building, programming, flight simulation, and repairing professional-grade quadcopter drones. Students will learn the importance of cooperation, communication, safety, and strategy in a competitive environment while flying drones within a netted arena.


There are three distinct options available for Health & Wellness program involvement. Each specialized program introduces students to various aspects of physical health, mental health, and emergency medicine. Each program is designed to help students prepare for college programs in the medical field, including allied health (such as physical therapists, dental hygienists, audiologists, dietitians, etc.). Students will apply principles of biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology to the study and interpretation of human health and disease. Guest speakers and service projects are some of the ways that students will experience learning opportunities as they explore health career topics suited to their needs, aptitudes, and career plans.

Physical Health focuses on historical diseases, genetic disorders, lifestyle diseases, and vectorborne diseases.

Mental Health focuses on brain function in health and sickness, including exploration of the brain anatomy and physiology that focuses on health and misbehavior.

Emergency Medicine teaches the Red Cross of America curriculum for first aid and CPR certification. It also provides background information to understand the best course of action in an emergency situation.


The International Space Station (ISS) program offers two distinct options for participation. Both teach engineering, circuitry, programming, and data analysis.

ISS Space Program: Designed for students who are interested in space science, this fast-paced, semester-long course includes 2-3 pre-designed experiments, multiple data uploads to the International Space Station, and the opportunity for data analysis. Students will analyze experiments around heat, radiation, conduction, and convection and compare the results on earth and in micro-gravity. Students will receive guided instruction and a Quest for Space kit.

ISS Research Lab: This year-long program provides students with the opportunity to work in a team setting to conceive, design, build, test, integrate, and qualify computer-controlled custom science experiments that are launched to the International Space Station (ISS).

The experiments are active on the ISS for 30-days. Each experiment module contains a digital camera and student-programmed micro-controller, and experiment data is sent to Earth for student evaluation. Participation fulfills the AMSE Research Project requirement for AMSE Honors students. Prerequisite: Completion of the VCJH Space Elective, VCHS ISS Space Program, or previous VCHS ISS Program experience.



The Math Team is a year long program provides students with the opportunity to further their math skills, as well as meet other people who share the same love and interest in math. Team members compete in local, national, and international competitions, and attend seminars. Students will develop skills in collaboration and teamwork, improve their critical thinking, and expand their problem-solving strategies. Qualifying students can participate in the Mu Alpha Theta National Honor Society.


Discover ocean engineering through participation in the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) program to creatively apply STEM principles in the exciting field of underwater robotics. Students will design and build remotely operated vehicles (ROV)s to tackle missions modeled after real-world scenarios in the ocean workplace. MATE includes annual and regional competitions.


Ocean Discovery Marine Life: Students will take a deep dive into ocean exploration with the Ocean Discovery Marine Life Program. This semester-long program exposes students to the biological and environmental aspects of the ocean through the study of marine life, corals, and aquarium maintenance to enrich their scientific understanding of this vast and fragile ecosystem. Students will gain an appreciation for the nature of the sea and its inhabitants. Students will maintain shared aquariums in the newly installed ocean lab. Each semester offers unique learning opportunities. Both new and repeat students are welcome.

Ocean Discovery Mammals: Students will explore the exciting field of marine biology and study marine mammals through hands-on field activities and scientific exploration through data analysis. Students will learn about the different marine mammal groups. There will be labs on marine mammal skulls, abundance, distribution and movement patterns, and vocalizations. Students analyze real data collected from marine mammals and also collect their own data. Expert speakers and exciting field trips are planned to provide hands-on activities in the field.


RoboQuest: This course in STEM robotics uses a hands-on approach to introduce fundamental robotics concepts, focusing on the construction and programming of individual mobile robots. Students will learn programming skills, problem-solving strategies, and have the opportunity to design, build, and compete with their very own bot utilizing the VCS proprietary program, RoboQuest. Students will compete in a district event in December and a championship event in March 2024 at Grand Canyon University.

FRC Robotocs: The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Robotics program focuses on developing skills in the areas of software, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer-aided design (CAD). Students will represent VCHS and participate in the fastpaced FRC competition season, giving them the opportunity to compete at the local, regional, and international levels. Participation during the second semester fulfills the AMSE Research Project requirement for AMSE Honors and Honors Fellow students.



On the heels of Team Ocean Quest’s 2019 victory in the NOAA Bonus Prize round of the Shell $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition, VCS is consistently supporting multiple student teams in XPRIZE competitions. Team Avatar Quest and Team Rainforest Quest completed their competition seasons, advancing to the semi-finals and qualifying round, respectively. Current teams include Team Carbon Quest, which is centering its efforts on identifying carbon removal strategies using data collected from Earth’s oceans, land, and outer space, and the XPRIZE Wildfire Quest team, focused on developing integrated systems that can autonomously detect, assess, and suppress potentially catastrophic wildfires quickly.


Valley Christian Schools’ mission is to provide a nurturing environment o ering quality education supported by a strong foundation of Christian values in partnership with parents, equipping students to become leaders to serve God, to serve their families, and to positively impact their communities and the world.


A world where every student pursues their personal Quest for Excellence™


Valley Christian Schools supports the homes and churches of students in providing an education that is grounded in the Judeo-Christian values of the Bible, as reflected in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. Valley Christian Schools is committed to a Quest for Excellence™ in all of its educational programs, and provides a comprehensive kindergarten through twelfth grade curriculum with a rigorous college preparatory program. Firmly founded on Christian values, Valley Christian Schools challenges youth to aspire toward lives of character, service and influence while pursuing their individual Quests for Excellence

Valley Christian Schools vcs_warriors

To support VCS, please call the Extend the Gift Advancement O ce at (408) 362-7644. Elementary (408) 559-4400 | 1450 Leigh Ave, San Jose, CA 95125 Junior High (408) 513-2460 | High School (408) 513-2400 | (408) 513-2500 | 100 Skyway Drive, San Jose, CA 95111

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