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STEM

The Valor Institute for Applied STEM offers an endorsement program for students interested in focusing their secondary education in STEM-related fields of study.

Contact Rick Russon for more information or download our STEM brochure.

Program Requirements »
Definitions & Details »
Enrollment Form »

Program Requirements

Applied STEM Major Endorsement

  • Academic Courses: 4 credits of Math, 3 credits of Science, and 1 additional STEM course

  • Experiential Engagement: 8 Experiential Units (EU) in at least three different categories

  • Service Activities: 2 qualifying activities

  • Capstone Project: An approved research- or design-oriented experience and presentation

Applied STEM Minor Endorsement

  • Academic Courses: 4 credits of Math, 3 credits of Science, and 1 additional STEM course

  • Experiential Engagement: 5 Experiential Units (EU)

  • Service Activity: One qualifying activity

Definitions and Details

Tuition assistance is awarded after a student is fully enrolled and based on demonstrated financial need. Read these important documents for more information and next steps.

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:

  • Club: Involvement in an Applied STEM club (.5 EU/semester of participation per club; 1 EU/semester if serving as a club officer)

  • Competition: Participation in an Applied STEM competition (.5 EU/competition)

  • Internship: An Applied STEM-based internship during school, summer, or breaks (.25 EU/10 hours served, up to a maximum of 5 EUs)

  • 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)

  • Additional Courses: In your area of specialization (.5 EU/.5 credits earned)

Qualifying Service

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 list includes activities that would count toward the fulfillment of your major or minor requirements:

  • Discovery Experience: Participation related to your Applied STEM specialization, such as Marine Biology/Scuba, Medical, or Engineering

  • Tutoring: Providing 20 or more volunteer hours in tutoring Valor students in Applied STEM disciplines

  • 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

  • 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- 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 a 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