Welcoming Awe & Wonder

SET High students on staircase going to class.

Welcoming Awe & Wonder

Welcoming awe and wonder? Isn’t the School for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SET High) just that- an innovative high school that immerses its students into the mindset and attitudes of entrepreneurship and technology so they can change the world for the better with their incredible businesses and inventions? Exactly. Welcome back to school.

SET High is a tuition-free public charter school for grades 9-12, serving the San Diego area. And when we ask our students to dive deep, explore a unique range of subjects, and discover their passions, we are welcoming awe and wonder in the process.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein


Awe is an emotion less studied or understood than emotions that protect us: fear, anger, disgust, etc. Awe, along with wonder, might be passed off as soft, unnecessary, or woo woo.

We humans are starting to find proof that awe is actually a gobsmacking strike of amazement, something that had never impressed us before, that we humans need to be creative, accepting, kind, humble, and curious. Awe lights up positive activity in the brain. When we feel awe we want it again, it feels that good. Awe is awesome. And yes, if we do say so ourselves, our school is awesome. Full of awe. You can seek awe in many ways: art, nature, music… even literature. We encourage an environment in which we experience something new, something that stops us in our tracks even just for a split second, every day. 

Without awe, we are less likely to seek change, strive for solutions, or harness the power of inspiration for any greater good. Awe makes us realize just how important it is to feel small in a vast grand world. Without awe, how will we be encouraged to wonder?


Wonder is the pondering of an experience or idea, perhaps brought on shortly after a magical moment of awe. Wonder acts as the vehicle to create action because of the awe we experience, or the desire to attain it somehow. We want the awe, so we wonder and dream and try new things that can provoke another awe-filled experience.

The tickle of awe and the bravery to wonder makes us more likely to navigate the unexpected, overcome obstacles, and take the risks necessary to learn from failure. To wonder is to ask for trial and error, to let curiosity take you to the experiments, inventions and tests, comfortable with the knowledge that it’s a learning process. 

Entrepreneurship & Technology

This is what Principal Dr. Neil McCurdy is talking about in his welcome speech. This mindset and skill set for entrepreneurship and technology requires the leadership, teachers, and students to welcome awe and wonder. The only way to truly utilize our learning power is to open our minds and invite discovery. We believe that high school is exactly the safe place to practice these concepts. It is our responsibility at SET High to encourage wonder and develop our students’ foresight to seek awe in order for them to build the entrepreneurship and technology mindset for a rewarding life. 

“...it is the freedom to innovate, the freedom to solve problems, the freedom to build what you want to build, the freedom to be who you want to be, and the freedom to dream what you want to dream. At SET, we strive to produce students who embody the entrepreneurial spirit and the skills and confidence to be able to strike out on their own…” – Dr. Neil McCurdy

Look, we’re not saying this very blog post will instill awe in you. But we are saying that the chances of your student(s) finding their passions, practicing wonder, and seeking awe in our tuition-free public high school is pretty great. If that sounds wonderful to you, join us. We’re enrolling students year-round.

About SET High 

SET High offers each student individual attention from multi-talented, highly qualified teachers. Students build a healthy camaraderie with classmates inside an intellectually rigorous environment that brings out individual talents and personality, helping develop character and direction in life. With a wide variety of electives, flexible scheduling, dual enrollment college classes and more — our students regularly exceed academic and personal expectations. Enrolling now!