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Curriculum Update

Middle school kicks off Boston Marathon-based curriculum

Students in town where race starts learning about weather, nutrition and history

The town of Hopkinton, Mass., has served as the starting point for Boston Marathon since 1924. Now, Hopkinton Middle School is incorporating the town’s historical connection with the iconic race into a new curriculum called “Desire to Inspire.”

“From the early preparations in March to the event in April, every year our community and our students become very enthusiastic about the marathon,” says Debra Pinto, a Hopkinton Middle School physical education teacher.

“I had been tossing around the idea of a marathon-based curriculum for a couple years, but after the bombing incident last year, I knew this was something to help us move forward and bring positivity back to the event.”

All Hopkinton students are learning about various marathon-related topics in a variety of subjects, says Chuck Rockwood, English teacher and “Desire to Inspire” advisory board member. For example, in science class students are learning about how weather conditions, nutrition and athletic training can affect a runner’s marathon time.

In history classes, students have learned about the origins of the marathon in ancient Greece and have researched the biographies of previous Boston winners. In English, students have written essays reflecting on last year’s bombing.

Hopkinton is working to put “Desire to Inspire” online so that other schools along the Boston Marathon route can use the curriculum, Pinto and Rockwood say. “Desire to Inspire” also will sponsor guest speakers, fundraisers and competitions for the school and the Hopkinton community.