Inquiry & Innovation Program

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 program is a four-year academic and enrichment program designed to help students discover and develop their individual abilities and interests within a service-oriented, liberal arts curriculum. The i2 Program encourages students to:

  • Expand their critical, creative, and collaborative thinking through science, mathematics, technology and design courses.
  • Cultivate their curiosity and interests through learning beyond the classroom.
  • Identify and leverage their abilities to serve as agents of change in the world.

i2 Scholar Characteristics & Expectations

Ninth grade applicants to the i2 Program must demonstrate high academic achievement through exemplary middle school grades and standardized test scores. More importantly, an i2 scholar should embody an intrinsic curiosity about the world, the ability to imagine a more just world, and a service ethos to help construct that world. During high school, i2 scholars must:

  • Achieve at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA and a B average or higher in 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


The i2 curriculum includes dedicated ninth-grade Physics and English courses, which emphasize the inquiry process and introduce i2 scholars to cutting-edge fabrication tools and design systems through field trips and in-class discovery.

By placing their unique interests and abilities in the context of social justice, i2 scholars are asked to identify an inequity or engineering challenge in the world around them, and to create a solution (or two!) Inspired by innovative partners from around the Bay Area, project development will follow the design process, or

  • Year 1: Empathize
  • Year 2: Imagine Solutions
  • Year 3: Design Prototypes
  • Year 4: Present

"The i2 program has given me the valuable opportunity to discover an interest and share this interest with others through a year-long project. By granting students the chance to focus our time and skills on a project we are passionate about, the i2 program fosters values, like curiosity and responsibility, that will be useful long after graduation."

Maia Alviar, '18

i2 Projects

Please click below to read sample project blogs:


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 to NASA Ames, TwitterThe CrucibleThe Tech Museum of InnovationAutodeskDolby, behind the scenes at the Academy of Sciences and City Arts and Lectures.

Community Participation 

i2 scholars model inquiry and innovation for all members of the SHC community through service and initiatives such as:

"Being in the i2 program has been an incredible experience and it has inspired me to pursue my passion for teaching and the environment. Through i2 and the SLI (Student Launch Initiative), I was able to turn my passions into a curriculum for elementary school students to teach them about the importance of bees and their own role in the world around them. The i2 program has inspired me and has also introduced me to some of my best friends making it a community and experience that I am very grateful to have."

Chloe Jenniches '19

i2 Scholar Program Team

  • Mr. Dabney Standley, i2 Director
  • Mr. Tom Farrell, i2 School Counselor
  • Ms. Margi Beima, Community Learning Partnerships Director
  • Ms. Kathy Lorentz, TEDx Facilitator
  • Mr. Greg Herlein, Vex Robotics Facilitator
  • Ms. Julia Rinaldi, Service Learning Facilitator

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