Applied STEM

New Program Options in Applied Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math—Including Major and Minor Endorsements

Are you curious about how things work, and why?

Do you enjoy experimenting with computer programs? Or exploring life through a microscope or a telescope? Or figuring out how to build something in virtual or actual reality?

Do you love math or medicine or mechanical systems?

Are you pursuing college and career opportunities in a STEM-related industry?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then consider the Applied STEM program at Valor. Maybe you just want to give something a try, or maybe you’re seriously motivated. Either way, take a look at your options and talk to your academic counselor.

Interested in joining for the 2018-2019 school year?

Attend the organizational meeting and club launch on September 6th during business lunch in the Valor Center Upper Lobby. All are welcome to attend, not just those registered for a STEM endorsement.

Visit the FISH Tank, our new exploratory studio space, in Room 50 in the west end of the Academic Building basement. The space will be open after school on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for students to work on projects and chat with Mr. Rick Russon, STEM Coordinator.

Applied STEM Program Overview

Our Applied Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program lets you focus your curricular and co-curricular efforts in areas that interest you. You can always try a class or a club without formally enrolling in the Applied STEM program.

Or, by enrolling in an Applied STEM major or minor, you can develop and present your interests in a specialized way as you prepare for college or university studies.

Your program will be structured around four core requirements:

  1. Academic Courses
  2. Experiential Engagement
  3. Service Activities
  4. Capstone Project

These four requirements are intended to provide you with a solid foundation in the math and science disciplines you choose.

To support your development, you’ll get access to hands-on experiences in clubs, competitions, and internship opportunities. In addition to receiving teaching and mentoring through your classes and requirements, you’ll also learn from a series of guest presentations by industry leaders in STEM professions.

With a completed major or minor, you will graduate from Valor with a specialized diploma, transcripts, and commencement acknowledgment.

Enrolling in an Applied STEM major or minor does not cost extra—it’s covered by your Valor tuition. Depending on the specific classes and experiences you choose, there may be fees for participation.

Enrollment for 2018–19

ENROLLMENT FORM

Areas of STEM Emphasis

Choose the focus of your major or minor:

  • General Sciences
  • Medical and Health Sciences
  • Technology and Computer Sciences
  • Robotics and Engineering
  • Mathematics

New STEM Course Offerings for 2018-2019

In addition to our full course catalog, you may also choose:

  • Calculus III
  • Biotechnology/Genetics
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Valor Tech Force

STEM Club Offerings for 2018-2019

You can also get hands-on experience in clubs and competitions such as:

  • Best Robotics Competition
  • Code Challenges with Hewlett Packard and Lockheed Martin
  • Game Development Club
  • International Space Station Project Team
  • Marine Biology Club
  • Math Club
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory Physics Bowl Team
  • Pre-Health/Medicine Club
  • Science Olympiad Competition

Program Requirements for a Major Endorsement

Class of 2019:

  1. Academic Courses: 4 credits of Math, 3 credits of Science, and 1 additional STEM course
  2. Experiential Engagement: 5 experiential units (see details below)
  3. Service Activity: One qualifying activity (see details below)
  4. Capstone Project: An approved research- or design-oriented experience and presentation (see details below)

Class of 2020 and following:

  1. Academic Courses: 4 credits of Math, 3 credits of Science, and 1 additional STEM course
  2. Experiential Engagement: 8 experiential units in at least three different categories (see details below)
  3. Service Activities: 2 qualifying activities (see details below)
  4. Capstone Project: An approved research- or design-oriented experience and presentation (see details below)

Program Requirements for a Minor Endorsement

Class of 2019:

  1. Academic Courses: 4 credits of Math and 3 credits of Science
  2. Experiential Engagement: 3 experiential units (see details below)
  3. Service Activity: No additional service required

Class of 2020 and following:

  1. Academic Courses: 4 credits of Math, 3 credits of Science, and 1 additional STEM course
  2. Experiential Engagement: 5 experiential units (see details below)
  3. Service Activity: One qualifying activity (see details below)

Definitions and Details

Experiential Engagement

Experiential Engagement is significant contribution and immersion in hands-on activities related to your area of specialization. Engagement will be measured by Experiential Units (EUs). While not exhaustive, the following list indicates various categories and values to achieve graduation thresholds:
  1. Club: Involvement in an Applied STEM club [.5 EU/semester of participation per club; 1 EU/semester if serving as a club officer.]
  2. Competition: Participation in an Applied STEM competition [.5 EU/competition]
  3. Internship: An Applied STEM-based internship during school, summer, or breaks [.25 EU/10 hours served, up to a maximum of 5 EUs.]
  4. Independent Research: Applied STEM-based independent research completed during school, summer, or breaks [.25 EU/10 hours served, up to a maximum of 5 EUs.]
  5. Additional Courses: In your area of specialization [.5 EU/.5 credits earned]

For a minor, you must complete 5 Experiential Units (EUs) in any single or combination of the above categories (3 EUs for the Class of 2019).

For a major, you must complete a total of 8 Experiential Units (EUs) in at least three of the above categories (5 EUs for the Class of 2019).

Service Activities

A qualifying Service Activity is a significant contribution to and involvement in serving others using skills related to your Applied STEM disciplines. While not exhaustive, the following a list includes activities that would count toward fulfillment of your major or minor requirements:

  1. Discovery Experience: Participation related to your Applied STEM specialization, such as Marine Biology/Scuba, Medical, or Engineering
  2. Tutoring: Providing 20 or more volunteer hours in tutoring Valor students in Applied STEM disciplines
  3. School Support: Providing tactical and/or practical support for Applied STEM competitions hosted at Valor, serving as an Applied STEM representative at Explore Valor events or as part of the Valor Tech Force
  4. Community Support: Provide tactical and/or practical support for community service functions, such as serving at a blood drive or health fair, or creating tutorials.

Capstone Project

A Capstone Project is a research-oriented or design-oriented experience that culminates in an academic and intellectual presentation before a panel of Valor teachers and industry experts.

Your presentation must focus on an Applied STEM discipline that synthesizes and applies classroom content to the practical or career-based application. Examples of acceptable projects include:

  • Research projects
  • In-depth design projects
  • Reflective portfolio
  • Publication in a scientific journal
  • Creation of an extensive service project

Your Capstone Project must be pre-approved before your senior year by a Valor teacher who will serve as your mentor during the process of project development and fulfillment.

All Capstone Projects must demonstrate the following attributes:

  • Development of a plan of action
  • Critical thinking
  • Research and analysis, including proper citation of references
  • Content display
  • Presentation of Project via multiple modalities (written, oral, digital)
  • Interaction with a panel of reviewers

ENROLLMENT FORM

Thank you for your interest in Applied STEM opportunities at Valor. Be sure to discuss these with your academic counselor for the coming school year.