What is i2?

The Inquiry & Innovation Program is a four-year leadership and enrichment program that challenges students to inquire how their capabilities and passions can serve communities from the local to global scale and to explore innovative ways to do so effectively. The i2 Program develops students’ problem-solving, creativity, analytical abilities, and leadership skills through a curriculum that integrates STEM, liberal arts, and service. Through annual projects, field trips, talks, performances, and outdoor adventures, students examine and address ideas and issues outside the classroom. As they involve themselves in the many programs at SHC, including Robotics, the Student Launch Initiative, and TEDxYouth@SHC, i2 students build their capacity to create positive change in the world.

i2 Scholar Characteristics and 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.



The i2 curriculum begins with dedicated ninth-grade Physics and World History courses, which emphasize the inquiry process and inter-disciplinary problem-solving approaches through field trips and in-class discovery. Over the next three years, scholars are strongly encouraged to take at least one computer science course so that they have a working understanding of the digital technologies playing an increasingly important role in their lives.

A key part of the i2 experience is the annual i2 Project, a yearlong exploration of an important problem or challenge informed by their unique interests and abilities. i2 scholars follow a process inspired by design thinking and lean innovation principles to develop thoughtful and often novel approaches to addressing these problems. As juniors and seniors, i2 scholars enroll in academic explorations that delve into design thinking and lean innovation processes that will inform their projects.


i2 scholars are 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: