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.




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 

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 Freshman, upon passing a portfolio review. 



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



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



The award-winning MBMS choirs help students develop strong and healthy singing techniques and music reading skills. All members take part in several performances which may include the Winter and Spring Concerts, off-campus singing festivals and most recently, virtual choir performances. Singing in choir prepares members to audition for local and national honor choirs, musical theater shows, and allows for a strong foundation to continue singing at the high school level.



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

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


Advanced Film

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.


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 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:

  • 7th/8th Grade Wheel (Possible classes may include Art in Math, Careers, Coding, Photography, Public Speaking, etc.)
  • 7th/8th Grade STEM Wheel (Intro. to STEM, Marine Biology, FabLab)