Innovation Institute

Innovation Institute at Shanghai American School is a transformational approach to education in which students are empowered to solve real-world problems through collaborative and creative processes. The Institute is a two-year program (grades 9 and 10) that places learners at the center of the educational experience and challenges them to think critically and apply their learning to open-ended, complex questions that address contemporary issues. Students are required to stretch themselves beyond the traditional learning framework by engaging in interdisciplinary project-based learning that requires the use of 21st century skills.


Innovation Institute Header


In an increasingly globalized and technological world, leaders in all areas acknowledge that mastery in critical and creative thinking, collaboration, and communication are essential to our ability to successfully respond to current and future challenges.

How We Do It

The Innovation Institute (I2) emphasizes:

  • academically rigorous interdisciplinary tasks and projects;
  • collaborative work;
  • critical thinking, creativity, and communication;
  • connections between disciplines;
  • experience in the design thinking processes;
  • interactions with experts in various fields;
  • flexible schedules (when appropriate) for grouping students according to needs and tasks.

What Students Will Gain

Our goal is that students leave I2 confident in their ability to:

  • identify and respond to complex problems and issues
  • effectively communicate their ideas about the world in many ways
  • be comfortable with uncertainty
  • be vulnerable to share ideas and accept criticism
  • take risks
  • effectively collaborate
  • make connections between classes and the ‘real world’

Sample Projects