Inquiry & Innovation Program

"The i2 Program has inspired me and introduced me to some of my best friends, making it a community and an experience for which I am so grateful."

Chloe Jenniches '19

i2 Program Mission

The Inquiry & Innovation Program is a challenging four-year academic and enrichment program based around a core of STEM disciplines designed for students to build the collaboration, problem solving, and leadership skills that will enable them to play important roles in addressing the issues that will face them in the future. Students in the i2 Program expand their creative, analytic, and collaborative thinking abilities through science, mathematics, technology and design courses. Through field trips, talks, performances, and outdoor adventures, they cultivate their curiosity and interests outside of the classroom. As they involve themselves in the many programs at SHC, including robotics, the Student Launch Initiative, and TEDxYouth@SHC, they build their capability to serve as positive agents of change in the world.

For more information, please contact Inquiry & Innovation Program Director Dabney Standley at 415.775.6626 ext.695.

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 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. 

Please click below to read sample project blogs:


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:

"The i2 Program has given me the opportunity to discover an interest and share it with others through a yearlong project. By granting students the chance to focus our time and skills on a project we are passionate about, the i2 Program fosters curiosity and responsibility which will be useful long after graduation."

Maia Alviar, '18

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. Mike Knapp, Student Launch Initiative Facilitator
  • Mr. Tim Glasser, Robotics Facilitator
  • Ms. Julia Rinaldi, Service Learning Facilitator

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