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The Inquiry Program

If you’re looking for a self-initiated challenge, then the Inquiry Program at Cate is up your alley.

Inquiry permeates all courses, but more specifically you can begin your own inquiry project, to tackle an independent intellectual adventure.

With faculty mentoring you will present your year-long project to the community during Inquiry Day.

Cate is powered by curiosity and enriched by a culture of inquiry. Our objective is to equip students to be lifelong learners who possess the mindset, passion, and skills to know how to pursue their education in a manner that is collaborative, disciplined, and impactful.

Central to enabling such a mindset is an inquiry approach to learning which challenges students to make close observations, ask insightful questions, and develop connecting and often interdisciplinary inferences. From this, students ultimately share their findings in ways that are effective as well as rewarding to them, their peers, and the broader world.

Independent, self-initiated challenge brings authentic intellectual adventure. As such, the senior inquiry program enables 12th graders to take on a project of their choosing, mentored by faculty. Those with a scientific turn of mind may consider cosmology, geology, biology, meteorology, or neurology, while humanists might explore literature, psychology, political science, economics, history, theater, communications, religion, or art history.

Once approved, the student will work independently as faculty advisors provide guidance and criteria for assessment of the project. In the last weeks of the school year, students will showcase their projects with publications, performances, exhibitions, or events.

Previous senior inquiry projects have included: “What is Matter?” “Colorism Within the Black Community,” “Astrophotography as Data and an Art Form,” and “What Modern Understanding of Biology’s Core Processes Means for Society.”