The Ingenuity middle school program began in 1994 with two 6th grade classes. We serve approximately 350 students at three schools:
- Hamilton Elementary/Middle School
- Mt. Royal Elementary/Middle School
- Roland Park Elementary/Middle School
- James McHenry Elementary/Middle School
“My child is loving the math program. He is so excited to be learning so many new things and to be moving at a quicker pace than in elementary school.”
— Parent of Ingenuity 6th grade student
Our middle school program has a long history of cultivating students’ curiosity; problem solving ability; perseverance; abstract, qualitative, quantitative and critical thinking; and the communications skills required to succeed in STEM careers or related fields. We want to inspire our students to pursue challenging high school educational paths, continuing their studies in advanced math and science in high school.
- Small math classes with a student to teacher ratio of 16:1.
- Experiential and rigorous science and engineering curriculum that prepares students for advanced coursework in high school.
- Exposure to the Singapore math program, an internationally recognized curriculum.
- High standards for student performance that foster academic excellence, strong study skills, and organization. Students are expected to maintain an 80% average to stay enrolled in the program.
- Interaction with a cohort of highly motivated and engaged peers.
- Preparation for regional math and science competitions.
Ingenuity teachers have, on average, 10 years of experience and hold advanced degrees in their specialized fields. They pay special attention to fostering lifelong academic and personal habits for success. Our teachers cultivate curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, perseverance, confident communication, self-reliance, and leadership.
Our Math Approach
Ingenuity begins in 6th grade with Singapore Math, an internationally recognized and proven curriculum. Students progress to pre-Algebra in 7th grade, and Honors High School Algebra I in 8th grade. The curriculum moves from the concrete, to pictorial, and then to abstract understandings that foster mastery and a love for math.
Science and Engineering Curriculum
Ingenuity’s curriculum places a strong emphasis on the scientific inquiry process and investigation into scientific research. Students work with their teachers early in the year to carefully design science projects and compete in school science fairs and the citywide Morgan State Science Fair.
Principles of engineering are grounded in long-term projects that promote real-world problem solving and collaboration.
- In 2016, students in 7th grade worked in teams designing solutions to reduce nitrogen pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation was a valuable partner in our classrooms.
Summer and Afterschool Programs
Ingenuity provides summer programs in mathematics to ensure retention of concepts. During the school year, Ingenuity offers additional academic support in the afterschool Learning Club, and provides coaching to prepare students for regional and national math competitions and science fairs.
All students begin their Ingenuity journey with a two-week summer Singapore Jump Start Program where students learn the Singapore approach and establish relationships with their peers and teachers.
In November 2014, the Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC) published a Preliminary Examination of Ingenuity Student Outcomes from the classes of 2008 and 2013. The study sought to determine whether Ingenuity middle school graduates who did not continue in Ingenuity at Poly nonetheless experienced continuing academic benefits from their prior Ingenuity experience. BERC compared Ingenuity students to a suitable comparison group. BERC reached the following conclusions:
- Ingenuity middle school graduates earned, on average, 3.5 credits in math, as compared to 2.5 among comparison students. For advanced science credits, Ingenuity students earned 3.9, as compared to 2.7 among their peers.
- Ingenuity students earned significantly more Advanced Placement credits in high school (9.3 versus 5.8).
- Ingenuity students achieved significantly higher weighted GPAs at the end of high school than comparable students, with an average GPA of 3.0, compared to 2.5 in the comparison group.
- Ingenuity students attained significantly higher scores on the PSAT and SAT tests across all subject areas.
Student growth exceeds national averages in math and science according to annual program evaluations.
- 100% of Ingenuity 8th grade students are accepted to selective high schools in Baltimore
- 99% of 8th grade students enter high school with Algebra I high school credit
- 50% of Ingenuity students perform in the top 10% nationally at the end of an academic year.
The philosophy of the Ingenuity Project is to nurture, develop and encourage the Ingenuity participant. In keeping with this philosophy, students must meet the following requirements for the duration of the program:
- Excellent attendance with no unexcused absences. This includes summer programs for Ingenuity.
- Maintain a demeanor that is respectful of fellow Ingenuity students and teachers and which honors the importance of the work. Students who do not meet attendance and behavior standards will be dismissed from the program.
- Maintain an 80 average or above in all course work. If at any time during the year an Ingenuity student is not showing consistent effort to meet the standards, the student and his/her parents will be asked to meet with the school and Ingenuity staff to assess the student’s difficulties and determine the necessary steps for improvement in academic performance. Students who are continually unable to meet the demands of the Project will not reenter the program for the subsequent year. If students withdraw or are asked to leave because they do not meet the standards, they will be assigned to regular classes.