A Plethora of Passions: SHC’s Inquiry and Innovation Showcase


Photo by Liam Carey, i2 Program Director

The second floor was booming this past Saturday, as students from the Inquiry and Innovation (i2) Program gathered for their third annual showcase. Over the course of the past school year, each member of the program focused their time on what has been dubbed a “passion project,” and they dedicated hours upon hours of researching, building, creating, or testing novel ideas. While the program itself is certainly math, science, and technology oriented, a wide range of passions were certainly represented throughout the course of the day.


One senior, Shalina Bulchandani, designed solar powered portable chargers after realizing a need for extended battery life while playing Pokemon Go. With custom made casing manufactured from repurposed styrofoam, she took pride in the fact that her chargers “eliminated the need for electricity and decreased the amount styrofoam that would have otherwise ended up in the trash.”


Another senior, Christopher Sauvageau, sought to combine his interests for music arrangement and audio editing by putting together an acapella EP. He claimed that it encouraged him to be more organized, “as there were a lot of audio files to keep track of,” and taught him to “never compromise audio quality.” Perhaps most significantly, his main take away was “the power of the human voice to inspire and create such a full sound.”


Meanwhile, Emily Tam harnessed her love for reading by recording audio textbooks for elementary school students. Then, she proceeded to run a “small experiment with the students to see if [her] audio textbooks were effective in improving their phonics, reading comprehension, and vocabulary.” While she noticed that her efforts did make a noticeable difference in retained information, she acknowledges that there is still a lot to be done before this platform of learning becomes more widely acceptable. Overall, she hopes that “audio textbooks continue to grow more accessible to all, especially students with dyslexia and other learning differences.”


A junior, Christiana Smith, made it her goal to fold 1000 paper cranes. She first became interested in origami in 5th grade, when she read a book entitled “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.” According to the story, a young girl named Sadako Sasaki turned to folding cranes after being diagnosed with leukemia in the hopes that they would grant her a wish and enable her survival. Inspired by the story, Christiana combined her love for Japanese culture and language to begin the process of folding cranes, and remarked that they “helped [her] de-stress and let out [her] feelings.”


As for me, my project was three-part: 1) encourage spoken word within the SHC community and build its supportive community at our school, 2) continue to strengthen my personal leverage in the YouTube community through more frequent uploads of pieces, and 3) work more closely with other poets to create as many collaboration pieces as I can. Thus, I set out to organize and host a fall and spring spoken word night at SHC, as well as write additional pieces in my spare time. This effort was greatly inspired by my initial exposure to the spoken word community, which proved to me that every individual has a unique voice and story that deserves to be heard. I am a firm believer that from sharing one’s voice and being vulnerable, we can grow to be more resilient and wise!
Other notable projects of the showcase involved perfecting the art of photography, coding, cooking fine cuisine, interior design, and lock picking. Certainly, all attendees could discern that the i2 program encompasses much more than meets the eye! Especially with all the encouragement and support, it certainly was a day to remember.