Academics + Inquiry & Innovation Program

Inquiry & Innovation

“Schooling isn’t worth anything unless it creates for people the capacity to believe that they can change the world. ” – Jean Piaget

I2 Program Mission

The Inquiry & Innovation (I2) program is a rigorous four-year program designed to target the unique passions and interests of its students through a lens of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, design and service. Coupling high academic expectations with a focus on passion driven design, the I2 program challenges its scholars to be agents of change in our world.

I2 Scholar Characteristics & Expectations

I2 scholars are among the ninth grade applicants to Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, displaying high academic achievement and exemplary middle school grades and standardized test scores. More importantly, an I2 scholar embodies an intrinsic curiosity about the world and an awareness of the overlap between service and design. During high school, I2 scholars must:

  • Achieve at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA and a B average or higher Math and Science courses.
  • Maintain the highest standards of behavior as prescribed by the school.
  • Be models of curiosity, innovation and service for the entire SHC community.

I2 Program Components


I2 scholars will have shared classes during their time at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Shared classes are more rigorous than a typical course, covering a greater depth and breadth of material. Shared courses will emphasize the inquiry process and will introduce scholars to cutting edge fabrication tools and design systems through field trips and in-class activities. Current shared classes are outlined below:

  • Year 1: Physics and English
  • Year 2: Honors Chemistry
  • Year 3: Open
  • Year 4: KickStarter Design


I2 scholars will be challenged to identify and leverage their passion to serve as agents of change in our worldBy placing their unique, interests, gifts and passions in the context of social justice, I2 scholars will imagine, design, and a create a solution to a self-identified problem. Inspired by innovative partners from around the bay area, project development will follow the design process outlined below:

  • Year 1: Imagine
  • Year 2: Design
  • Year 3: Create
  • Year 4: Change


I2 scholars will be exposed to a variety of enriching experiences such as targeted field trips and speakers. Enrichment activities are designed to expose I2 scholars to a wide range of thought processes, innovation strategies, and passion driven projects. Past activities have included field trips The Crucible, The Tech Museum of Innovation, Autodesk and City Arts and Lectures.


Facilitated by the SHC Service Learning team, I2 scholars will work with peers across grade-levels to engage in a variety of service activities chosen by the members of their assigned service team. I2 Scholars will identify a new area of service interest each semester, and in collaboration with their peers, embrace the “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve” mission of SHC.

Community Participation 

I2 scholars embrace a mission of inquiry and innovation that all members of the SHC community can benefit from. Keeping this in mind, a portion of the I2 Program resources are devoted towards initiatives grounded in the I2 mission, but open to interested and dedicated members of our community who are may not be I2 Scholars. Current initiatives include:

I2 Scholar Quotes

“In a literal sense, the goal of the I2 Program is to build students up in a way that they learn to feel capable of achieving whatever it is that they have set their minds on.  We are encouraged to think creatively in a humbling working environment, as well as discover our strengths and weaknesses so that we can grow in such a way that we can ultimately accomplish our goals.  We are taught that in order to change the world, we must first take hold of our passions, and learn to develop these passions with time and effort.  With the continuous support we receive from our peers and from our instructors, this is made possible”. – Samantha Fisher, Class of 2017

“The I2 Program is a unique program that allows for the implementation of personal knowledge on a level that will affect a larger population. The I2 program is a way for my ideas to actually materialize and become something greater, that will help to fill a void or solve a problem that I feel has yet to be solved. I have a strong passion for cycling and through personal experience and I have found that protection of the body is being neglected. Earlier this year I fell during a routine training ride. This further increased my passion for a solution and I am currently trying to form ideas about how I can solve this problem.” – Tomas Saldana, Class of 2017

I2 Scholar Program Team

  • Dr. Ramsey Musallam, I2 Director, Honors/AP Chemistry teacher.
  • Ms. Kate McFadden, English Instructor
  • Mr. Joe Murphy, Physics Instructor
  • Mr. Dabney Standley, Program Facilitator
  • Ms. Kathy Lorentz, Program Facilitator
  • Mr. Greg Herlein, Program Facilitator
  • Ms. Julia Rinaldi, Program Facilitator

Click here to access more specifics about the 2015-16  I2 Scholar Program