Manhattan Beach Middle School

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Electives » Electives Overview

Electives Overview

MBMS offers a variety of elective classes. In addition to our Exploratory Wheel and STEM Wheel courses, there are also year long electives from which students may choose. Below are short descriptions of each elective. You will find additional information on the dedicated pages for each elective.


ASB/Leadership (7th/8th Grade)

Students learn civics, leadership, stewardship, and team work through active roles in the student government of MBMS. All students in ASB/ Leadership will actively work with administration, PBIS, and the PTA to coordinate and run events.

Intermediate Art  (7th/8th Grade)

Intermediate Art is a yearlong course designed to give students a strong foundation in fine art skills. Students will be introduced to a variety of art tools, media, historically relevant artists, and methods of art criticism.

Advanced Art 8  (8th Grade)

Advanced Art 8 is designed to further develop students' fine art skills and techniques in drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, and creative design. This course aligns with Art 1 at Mira Costa. Students who complete Advanced Art 8 have the opportunity to bypass Art 1 and enroll in Art 2 as ninth graders, upon passing a portfolio review. 

Band (6th/7th/8th Grade)

Students who play woodwind, brass or percussion instruments will focus on developing skills that are necessary for successful instrumental music performances.

Orchestra (6th/7th/8th Grade)

Instruction on the violin, viola, cello, and string bass are offered, with focus on the skills necessary for long-term success.

Choir (6th/7th/8th Grade)

The award-winning MBMS choirs are designed to help singers develop strong healthy singing/vocal techniques while mastering musicianship and literacy skills. In choir, students make lasting friendships and perform great music in a variety of styles including classical, pop, jazz, and musical theatre. There are concerts held throughout the year, including a day of performance and fun at Disneyland! We prepare our students for auditions for regional, state, and national honor choirs, musical theatre shows, and other musical ventures!

Drama (6th/7th/8th Grade)

Our award-winning Drama program introduces students to the foundational skills they need to be successful in theatre productions. The program also focuses on empathy, self-acceptance, compassion, and critical analysis skills required to be a better human being. Students who leave the MBMS Drama program find success in theatre productions outside of school, in high school, and in non-theatre classes where public speaking, critical thinking, and confidence are required.

Intermediate Film (7th/8th Grade)

Film is a combination 7th and 8th grade class that explores introductory ideas in filmmaking and television production.

Advanced Film (7th/8th Grade)

Advanced Film is a 7th & 8th grade combination class that allows students to delve into the art of filmmaking and television production. This student-centered class incorporates lectures, peer teaching, and hands on exploration to create a wide variety of projects for class, the school, and the community.


“FabLab: Creating with Technology” is a year long class designed to teach students how to create using technology and household items. In class, students will be able to create using specific technology elements, such as video game design, through Bloxels and circuits through Little Bits. Students will use their knowledge to build and design their own projects in a hands-on environment. Units will include: Caine’s Arcade- Cardboard Arcade Design, The Art of Video Game Design, Bloxels: Video Game Creation, Little Bits: Electronic Projects, Invention Challenge: National Competition, Raspberry Pi creations,  Makey Makey Inventions, and NASA Crane Design Challenge: Heavy Lifting. 


STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

This class takes students through the engineer design process which guides them through the design and implementation of their projects and concepts. The core of this class is for students to learn how to take failure and turn it into motivation to push themselves beyond where they thought they could go.

Yearbook (7th/8th Grade)

Yearbook is a class in which students focus on techniques used to report on events throughout the year. To produce our yearbook, students will learn design principles, how to use digital tools to create page layouts, and how to create a chronicle of a year at MBMS. Students will learn the fundamentals of interviewing, reporting, and photojournalism as well as copy editing, pitching features and stories, and various related skills.

Exploratory Wheel

This elective option is an opportunity for students to participate in a mix of different classes through the school year (one each trimester). Each class is taught by a different teacher. With this option, students are placed in the wheel and the classes are assigned. Choosing specific classes within the wheel is not an option. There are two wheel options:

  • 6th Grade Wheel (may include a selection of visual and performing arts introductory classes)
  • 7th/8th Grade STEM Wheel (Intro. to STEM, Marine Biology, FabLab)

W.E.B. (Where Everyone Belongs)
(Incoming 8th Graders Only!)

This course is designed to empower students to become stronger leaders, closer listeners, reflective goal setters, and more empathetic individuals. Students involved in WEB will be actively involved around campus in a leadership role, helping to ease the transition for 6th grade students new to MBMS! Our course will explore leadership skills including public speaking and group collaboration. WEB leaders will take a central role in creating and running WEB events exclusive to 8th grade WEB leaders and MBMS 6th graders, communicate with non-class WEB Leaders to ensure our program is aligned and productive, and frequently participate in reflective activities so we can improve as individuals and a group. While students do not need to take the course to be a WEB Leader, anyone interested in taking on a larger role within the program and within the school is encouraged to join.