Junior AMSE

Inspired by the Creator, AMSE aims to develop Christian scientists, mathematicians, and engineers who are equipped to become global leaders in the most advanced fields. AMSE provides students who have an aptitude for math and science with a K-12th grade pipeline of inspiration, instruction, and experience, in order that they might become successful innovators with the power to do a “world of good.”

The United States has advanced as a world leader, in part, through brilliant and dedicated scientists, engineers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. In a world that’s becoming constantly more complex, it is more important now than ever before for our young men and women to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and come up with a solution based on what they have learned. These skills are acquired by studying applied math, science, engineering, and technology—all vital components of Valley Christian Schools STEM program, the Applied Math, Science, and Engineering (AMSE) Institute. 

Valley Christian Junior High offers students an opportunity to prepare for our esteemed AMSE Institute when they enter the high school through our special JH AMSE program. Students, who apply to the VCJH as an AMSE Major, have a set goal to achieve and stay on task to be prepared for the AMSE Institute in high school. It also allows them priority placement in AMSE electives, access to exclusive AMSE lectures and events, active mentorships from industry leaders, internship opportunities with industry partners, and special recognition upon graduation from the VCJH.

VCJH offers many curricular opportunities for students to participate in Junior AMSE. From the after-school Robotics Program, Chi Alpha Mu Math Club, Science Club, and Aggies Club, to numerous competition opportunities, and a variety of innovative, hands-on science and engineering classes, AMSE opportunities abound at VCJH. AMSE provides students with incredible facilities, outstanding curriculum, and unique opportunities that aim to inspire future mathematicians, scientists, and engineers.



Valley Christian Junior High Featured as "Cool School"

Valley Christian Junior High was featured on channel 5 news as the “cool school” of the week! Watch the news story below to hear the students talk about the great opportunities the ISS program has opened up for them.

Congratulations Valley Christian Junior High

The VCJH WarriorBots competed at the FIRST LEGO League's Mountain State Invitational in Fairmont, West Virginia. The team had a stellar performance that earned them two awards: First Place Robot Mechanical Design and First Place Alliance Competition together with the Brazilian team, scoring a cumulative of 489 points! Congratulations to the WarriorBots for a job well done!




VCJH Ocean Quest Team

Valley Christian Schools “Ocean Quest” team is the only team of precollege-age, applied math, science, and engineering students to make it to the semi-final round of the $7 Million Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Competition. This competition challenges teams to push the boundaries of ocean exploration technology for rapid, unmanned, and high-resolution ocean mapping.

Clubs, Programs & Achievements 


About Valley Christian Junior High

Recognized for their dedication in encouraging more students to pursue math, sciences, and engineering at a young age, Valley Christian Junior High has received two prestigious Intel awards: the top honor 2011 STAR Innovator Award and an Intel Schools of Distinction Award for Middle School Mathematics Excellence. They also were named Exemplary High Performing- California Blue Ribbon School in 2013.

About NanoRacks LLC
NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide commercial hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station. The Company is unique in owning and marketing its own family of hardware, both inside and external to the space station. To date, over 100 payloads have been deployed on the space station and the current signed customer pipeline of over 50 payloads including domestic and international educational institutions, research organizations and government organizations, has propelled NanoRacks into a leadership position in understanding the emerging commercial market for low-earth orbit utilization. For more information visit www.nanoracks.com and follow @nanoracks.

About Quest Institute for Quality Education
The Quest Institute for Quality Education supports schools and organizations in pursuit of the Quest for Excellence™ and quality educational instruction. The Institute shall uphold the values of our Founding Fathers whose writings include the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other documents. www.thequestinstitute.com

About Valley Christian Schools
Valley Christian Schools (VCS) is a private, K-12 Christian school system located in the heart of Silicon Valley in San Jose, California. Valley Christian Schools provides challenging college preparatory programs while offering a K-12 comprehensive education. VCS challenges students to aspire toward lives of character, service, and influence while pursuing their individual Quest for Excellence through A3 Academic Achievement, Artistic Beauty, and Athletic Distinction. www.vcs.net


Clubs and Extracurricular

Aggies Club
Our club goals include the following: to promote environmental awareness, to develop agricultural engineering skills, to provide ecological research opportunities, and to build business skills.  Numerous activities involve students in hands-on projects such as raising crops, organic, urban farming, environment studies, ecological studies, and chickens!

Chess Club
Our club is open to all Junior High students interested in learning or playing tournament chess.  Tournaments are usually held on Saturdays. Students who play in tournaments will earn a U.S. Chess Federation rating. Playing chess is like an exciting story, where the story unfolds, strategies are formed and changed, suspense grows, and then the final drama unfolds where one king has no place to hide but to concede unless a stalemate ensues. Your story is just a move away.

GEM ST stands for Girls love Engineering, Math, Science, and Technology. We invite you to join this fabulous club where you can do cool math, science, and engineering! Do you think it is fun to build, create, get messy, use tools, and mix stuff up? GEM ST. club gives girls the chance to try new things with their friends and to succeed without the pressure of grades, test scores, or boys watching.

Maker Space
Maker Space provides a learning environment for students to gather and connect in community on a variety of projects. Projects such as woodworking, metalworking, electronics, textiles, computers, or 3D printing may be completed by an individual or a group of students. Tools may be used after safety training with adult supervision. Some supplies are provided, but students will be requested to bring supplies for their projects. Projects can be shown at local or state Maker Faires.

Math Club
Math Club is an exciting opportunity to grow in your understanding and knowledge of mathematical concepts. The club competes in several local and national assessments and competitions, such as the Chi Alpha Mu National Honors Society, Online Math Competitions, American Regional Math League, National Assessment Testing, MathCounts, and the Math Olympiad.

VCJH’s Robotics program sponsors WarriorBots, the school’s competitive robotics team. The school has joined forces with the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO® League (FLL), an organization where students compete in a sports-like environment that engages them in exciting mentor-based programs and inspires them as science and technology leaders.

Rube Goldberg Competition
VCJH has an annual Rube Goldberg Competition. Working in teams of two to four, students design and build a Rube Goldberg Machine that accomplishes a specific task. The machine utilizes at least ten different events using all six simple machine types. Teams have the morning to assemble and test their machine before judging in the afternoon. Entries are judged on: technical difficulty, creativity, success, and team work. This competition is open to all junior high students. 

Science Club
Do you love to experiment and test new ideas and theories? Do you enjoy science and wish to challenge yourself beyond the classroom? Then this is the club for you! The junior high Science Club works on various aspects of scientific study and research, such as Science Fairs, Project Research, Aquariums, Dissections, Experiments, and much more!

STAR/Radio Youth Club
The STAR Club is for all junior high students who have an interest in wireless communications. We will be tracking satellites, performing experiments with radio technology, developing emergency radio service skills, preparing for the FCC Technician Class Radio Exam, and, for licensed operators, receiving and transmitting Radio Communications. This is the perfect club for students who enjoy hands-on projects that both challenge and intrigue. Join us for the most exciting lunch activity around as we reach for the stars!



Ever wonder why Mentos explode when combined with Coke? Or how you can get the same plant to produce both potatoes and tomatoes? Is the physics of flight a mystery to you? Or the forensic techniques used by crime investigators? For the student who is curious about how the world works, this course is a great chance to work in a laboratory setting. The student will conduct real experiments to find the answers to some of nature’s strangest mysteries. 

The Logic and Reasoning course teaches the necessary skills to solve puzzles, problems, and develop critical thinking skills. The student will learn to analyze the validity of statements, separate fact from opinion, and recognize fallacies. Instruction will also address how to tackle di cult math problems with calculated ease. Each student in this elective will have opportunities to attend math contests hosted by various organizations. 

This course is ideal for students interested in pursuing science and engineering. Students learn through hands-on projects. Students use science and engineering to design an experiment in microgravity. Students have opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of electronics, uid density, magnetism, robotics, software engineering, and thermodynamics. The engineering design process and scienti c method is taught and used. Students may present their experiment at the American Society of Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) meeting or at other science fairs. 

Engineering Electives

Students will discover the design process and develop an understanding of the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They will design projects useful for the community and 3D print their designs. Students will also learn about the history and impact of automation and robotics as they explore mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Using the VEX Robotics® platform, students will apply what they know to design and program traffic lights, robotic arms, and more. 

Students will explore sustainable solutions to our energy needs and investigate the impact of energy on our lives and the world. They will design and model alternative energy sources, as well as evaluate options for reducing energy consumption. Students will explore nuclear energy and complete a titration laboratory to produce biodiesel fuel. Students will also learn how to apply green concepts to the fields of architecture and construction. They will explore dimensioning, measuring, and architectural sustainability and apply what they have learned to design affordable housing units using Autodesk’s® 3D architectural design software. Students will design and build various projects including their own furniture pieces. 

Students will play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They will solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health. Students will participate in lab dissections. Students also learn CPR and first aid but are not certified. Students will also apply the concepts of physics, chemistry, and nanotechnology to activities and projects, including making ice cream, cleaning up an oil spill, and discovering the properties of nano-materials. 

Students will examine the behavior and parts of atoms as well as the impact of electricity on the world around them. They will learn skills in basic circuitry design and use what they know to propose designs. Students will explore electronic applications to radio technology and Arduino projects. Students will also explore the science behind aeronautics and use their knowledge to design, build, and test an airfoil. Students will build and design dragsters, rockets and other vehicles. 

Applied Technology Electives

3D Animation is designed for the creative, detail-oriented student. The class will learn how to use professional software—Maya Unlimited—to create 3D objects, characters, and scenes. Each student will then learn how to animate his or her own creations. 

This course builds on the skills previously learned and applied in 3D Animation. The class will focus on advanced modeling skills and special effects, including dynamics, hair, fur, cloth, advanced surfacing, and particle systems to create animations and video special effects. 

3D Game Design will teach the student how to use his or her 3D Animation skills to create video games. The first semester will emphasize scripting and the artistry of game design while creating simple 2D games. During the second semester, the student will apply his or her 3D modeling and animation skills to game design methods and techniques, in order to create a 3D game. 

Students will learn basic programming concepts while making their own website. In the first semester, students will use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to code their own website from scratch. During the second semester, students will create a fully featured HTML5 web app, and apply what they learned to computer programming with Traditional C. 

This course will teach the skills needed to create a wide array of video projects, including music videos, mini-documentaries, green screen projects, and movies. Instruction will cover how to write scripts, create storyboards, organize production teams, lm using professional cameras and light sets, and capture and edit the lm using Final Cut Pro. 


Junior High AMSE FAQs:

Q: How do I apply for the JH AMSE Program?
A: Student applications are open now. Go to https://www.govcs.net/amse_app/ to apply. The deadline to apply for 2017-2018 is August 30. Confirmations will be sent out after the deadline. We encourage students to apply in the spring prior to their participation, if possible.

Q: What is the value of applying to the JH AMSE Program if I can still take AMSE electives and participate in AMSE clubs?
A: Below are some of the tangible benefits of joining the JH AMSE Program: 

  • The JH AMSE Program prepares students for our High School AMSE Program, helping them set goals and get ahead.
  • AMSE students will have priority admittance into AMSE clubs. This is especially helpful for clubs where applications are needed or are over-subscribed.
  • AMSE students will be given access to AMSE-only events, lectures (such as President’s Business Challenge workshops), and research projects.
  • AMSE students will be given special recognition at graduation.

Q: What are the elective/club requirements to graduate from the JH AMSE Program?
A: The minimum requirements for JH AMSE eighth grade graduation distinction are as follows:

  • Two AMSE electives
  • Two AMSE clubs/programs
  • One science project submission (eCybermission project qualifies)
  • Attendance at announced AMSE lunch meetings (six per year)
  • Six AMSE lunch/seminar reflective reports

Q:  Why would a student choose to do another Science Fair Project in addition to the eCybermission project?  
A: Participating in a Science Fair (i.e. Synopsys) is a GREAT experience for Junior High students. They can go through the process of formulating an idea, writing it down, and presenting it. 

Q:  How much time and effort is involved in the seminar reports?
AThe seminar reflective reports can be completed in 10-15 minutes.

Q: What AMSE electives and clubs/programs qualify?
A: Below is the list of AMSE electives and clubs/programs that qualify:

AMSE and Other Qualified Electives

AMSE Clubs and Programs

3D Animation

Aggies Club

3D Animation Level II

Chess Club

3D Game Design

GEM ST (Girls love Engineering, Math, Science, and Technology)

Intro to Programming

Maker Space

Investigative Science

Math Club

Logic and Reasoning

Science Club

VCJH Space Program

STAR Radio Youth Club


Robotics Program

Video Production


Project Lead the Way:

      Design and Robotics

      Environmental Science

      Medicine and Technology

      Space and Electricity




As a vital component of the Junior AMSE program and VCJH core curriculum, the Junior High Math Department provides a comprehensive math program that encompasses all levels of ability from grades six through eight. We are pleased to offer advanced level courses at every grade level, with all math courses emphasizing critical thinking, problem solving, mathematical concepts/applications, and preparation for high school mathematics.



VCJH science curriculum reaches all levels of students, from those just beginning to explore the field to those with exceptionally advanced scientific minds.  VCJH Science provides our students with many exciting opportunities for learning through exploration and discovery. Standard science courses include hands-on labs in the junior high’s science laboratory classrooms. Students have the opportunity to analyze DNA, participate in the national eCybermission, and identify solutions to erosion problems on campus.

Our Physical Science curriculum provides VCJH students with the opportunity to participate in eCYBERMISSION, a web-based science, math, and technology competition for sixth-ninth grade students. The competition promotes self-discovery and enables all students to recognize the real-life applications of science, math, and technology. Students compete for regional and national awards while working to solve problems in their community. Teams may choose one of seven Mission Challenges: Alternative Sources of Energy, Environment, Food/Health and Fitness, Forces and Motion, National Security and Safety, Robotics, or Technology.

eCYBERMISSION has awarded more than $9 million in U.S. EE Savings Bonds in support of the science, math, and technology leaders of tomorrow. Since its inception, more than 100,000 students from across the country, in U.S. territories, and Department of Defense Education Activity schools worldwide have participated in the competition.

VCJH students have regularly done very well in this competition, taking First Place in the state for 2016-2017.

  • Elementary School 1450 Leigh Avenue
  • San Jose, CA 95125 408.559.4400
  • Junior High 100 Skyway Drive, Ste. 130
  • San Jose, CA 95111 408.513.2460
  • High School 100 Skyway Drive, Ste. 110
  • San Jose, CA 95111 408.513.2400
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