Virtual & Digital Design

Virtual & Digital Design

At the cross-over of design arts and computing, the Virtual & Digital Design Path provides opportunities for students to use modern technology to bring their creative ideas to life. Students examine how virtual, digital, & manufactured products are made, and how they interact with our environment and impact our daily lives.  Sustainability, environmental interaction, social consciousness and materials processes are emphasized. 

Coursework in this pathway allows students to explore and develop solutions in five (5) main creative computing disciplines: augmented/virtual reality, 3-D modeling, Design Thinking, Digital Storytelling and video game design. Introductory coursework exposes students to state of the art technologies in these fields, while advanced coursework prepares students for industry certification and careers as designers and solution developers.

Opportunities are available during classes and after school for students to work with leading industry partners and commercial mentors.

There are no prerequisites for these courses. 

Course Offerings

Introduction to Augmented & Virtual Reality Technologies: CTE81100: Summer, Fall, & Spring

  • Open to all 9-12th graders (No prerequisites)

This course introduces students to techniques, principles and skills required to develop unique experiences and applications utilizing Augmented (AR), Virtual (VR), and Mixed Realities (MR) across a variety of use case scenarios. Participants will have access to state-of-the-art AR/VR technologies such as 360 degree video cameras, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift S, Oculus Quest, Oculus Go, PICO NEO, Windows VR, and Samsung Odyssey. Being able to develop VR and AR experiences gives each student cutting edge knowledge in an industry in need of talented staff. The average starting salary for a developer in this field is $75,000 a year. Learning in this field allows students to build technical literacy and express creativity in an immersive engaging computer aided design field.

A/R & V/R Development for STEAM: CTE81110: Spring & Summer

  • Open to all 9-12th graders 

This class is equally applicable to those who are interested in understanding AR & VR technologies as well as those who want to use these as tools for solving real-world challenges.  Students are introduced to a variety of applications and experiences employing project-based learning techniques which will be used to develop solutions in such areas as societal, industry, academic and community challenges.  Working individually and as teams, participants will employ principles of Design Thinking, Project Management, Engineering and the Arts to create new and innovative solutions covering a variety of real-world topics.  Projects may include work with industry partners and commercial mentors.

Introduction to Game Design: CTE83230: Fall and Spring 

  • Open to all 9-12th graders who have completed a prior computer science course

This is an introductory course to video game programming, design, and video game art. Students will learn the principles and practice of modeling, applying textures and materials to those models, and rendering them with appropriate lighting. Additionally, students will be introduced to the game design theory behind designing an enjoyable, balanced game. At the end of the course students will have the opportunity to apply the skills they learned to build their own game.

Advanced Game Design: CTE83235: Spring

  • Open to all students that have completed Introduction to Game Design 

Building on the skills learned in Introduction to Game Design, students will design, develop, and program games in Unity. Students will continue to refine their skills in modeling, game theory, and working with the Unity interface. At the end of the course students will have the opportunity to apply the skills they learned to build their own 3D games.

Design Foundations: CTE86110: Fall & Spring

  • Open to all 9-12th graders

This course teaches the basics of design including: what design is, sketching, drafting, rendering, presentation, the critique process, concepting an idea and translating it to a design brief. In addition, this course will give students a taste of the various types of industrial design they can continue with – transportation and mobility, product, and Human Machine Interface. Students will be asked to keep a sketchbook which will be part of the course. 

 Intro to 3-D Modeling: CTE86112 : Fall & Spring

  • No prerequisites
  • Open to 9th- 12 grade

This course provides an introduction to creating, editing, presenting, and printing 3D models. Students develop foundational skills to explore and navigate 3D modeling platforms while creating 3D objects. Basic elements of 3D development will include modeling, texturing, lighting, animating, and rendering. 

Introduction to Product Design: CTE86115: Fall & Spring

  • Open to all 9-12th graders that have completed Design Foundations   

Introduction to Product Design builds on the Design Foundations Course in that it provides students the opportunity to continue building their design skills around the field of product design. Students will learn how to research, ideate, sketch, render, 3D model, and present concepts for products that would be used in everyday life. In addition, weekly critiques and showcases will allow students to participate in the critique process and learn from one another, learning how to be part of teams and collaborate on projects. Students will be asked to keep a sketchbook which will be part of the course. As design becomes an ever more important field in that it can add significant value to companies products and operations, this course seeks to enable students to get a head start in the field of design and learn more about it as a career opportunity. 

Intro to Transportation Design: CTE86117: Fall & Spring  

  • Open to all 9-12th graders that have completed Design Foundations 

Imagine if you could learn how to design Cars, Bikes, Skateboards, Plane interiors, and more in high school! That is precisely the goal of this class. While the field of Transportation Design exists in colleges and universities around the world, it is not taught at the high school level. This class builds on the design foundations course taught at the Innovation Center to teach students how to design vehicle and vehicle interiors. Students would learn sketching and rendering techniques specific to vehicle design, as well as information about proper vehicle proportions, how to package a vehicle, how to think about cars from a design and engineering standpoint, and how to think about vehicle interiors.

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