An MVCDS Education

Explore Our Curriculum

Computer Science

Maumee Valley Country Day School will provide the students, staff, and administration with the technology and training essential to the safe and successful integration of technology in all aspects of teaching, learning, and administration.
  • 3D Game Worlds

    Are you a gamer?  Do you love getting lost in a game world, losing track of time, collecting achievements, and exploring?  Have you ever wondered how games are designed?

    This course takes a broad design view toward games of all types.  From Chess and Bagh Chal to classic and modern board games to video games (online, mobile, console and PC), we’ll dive deep into the design elements, mechanics, theming, aesthetics and psychology that make games work.  You’ll spend time playing and analyzing board games, card games and video games to see what makes them tick.  With expert guidance from The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell - a game designer and professor at Carnegie Mellon University - we’ll explore how motivation, player experience, psychology, art, statistics and good balance make games work.  You’ll get the chance to design your own games - even video games - and you’ll be able to develop and build several games during the course.  You will learn how a clear goal and appropriate challenge is psychologically necessary to induce a Flow state in players, how to use statistics to balance randomness vs strategy, and how art and design help to build supporting aesthetics that create the experience for players.  Your final project will demonstrate how all of this works together as a single system that is purposefully, artfully and carefully designed and constructed to produce a game experience.

  • 3D Modeling I

    From simple presentations to big-budget blockbusters like Avatar, the world of visual representation is leaning sharply toward 3D.  As students move on to college and into their professional lives, basic skills in 3D modeling and manipulation will prepare them for an increasingly digital world and give them a more marketable skill in many career fields.  This course will cover the basics of 3D object creation, texturing, lighting and rendering with some basic animation concepts.  This is NOT an animation course, nor a course in creating anthropomorphic models (though students may choose to attempt it).    You’ll spend much of your time learning mesh modeling techniques (using Blender, but the techniques are transferable to any 3D software), including how to create good topology, how to model from blueprints or technical drawings, some basic physics simulations, and how to prepare a model to 3D print correctly.  Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll move on to learning about materials and shaders, lighting and composition - focusing primarily on how to create photorealistic materials for use in artistic renders, architectural previsualization, video game environments or compositing with photography.  The course is project-based, and you’ll complete four separate 3D projects moving from basic to more complex (including sculpting and physics simulation), and along the way, we’ll do a short unit on 3D printing where you’ll get to print something you’ve modeled. Students may receive Fine Arts Credit for this course

  • 3D Modeling II

     If you’ve ever been interested in making video games or photorealistic architectural renderings, this course will give you the foundation to do just that. 3D Modeling II is more self-directed than 3D Modeling I, but will still have additional guidance, periodic homework and four foundation units that will advance your skills in mesh topology, lighting, materials, and compositing.  These units will apply to any of the topics you choose for your final project, and lessons will be tailored to your needs (with specific resources designed to help you apply them to your work).  You will be responsible for directing your own independent project, but that doesn’t mean this is a free-for-all, or that you can simply set a low bar and step over it.  My evaluation of your progress in the course will be based on concrete evidence of progress and learning, your ability to follow a structured learning plan, to dive deeply into your subject-area, and demonstrate proficiency by meeting established learning goals.  To that end, you’ll produce a proposal and a detailed learning plan for how you’ll achieve the project you intend to create - with guidance and direction. Some examples of areas you could choose to focus on are:

    • Interior modeling (following blueprints, interior design, architecture, environment - focus on design principles)
    • Landscape modeling (modeling from life, particle instancing, environment, advanced lighting with HDRIs, topographic modeling, landscape design, micro-displacements, the potential for photo scanning or photogrammetry)
    • Character design (may be human - see above) - (for animation or game to be rigged, for logo, expressive traits and physiognomy, sculpt-retopo workflow, possible print)
    • Animation (keyframe) - (illustrative visuals like charts and graphs, learning design, process illustration, herd/swarm simulation, lattice deforms)
    • Animation (character) - (rigging or using pre-rigged model, expressive action, environment interaction, using animation cycles for game design, animating for speech (using dope sheet), shape keys, camera tracking driving animation)
    • Physics Simulation - (Hard-body sim, using the game engine, destructive environments, may include soft-body simulation, cloth simulation, and fluid simulation.  Can be used to simulate tsunamis, water-flow, building collapse, etc.)
    Sculpt and retopo - (game assets, artistic renders, will include advanced materials and topology)  
  • O-Coding/Python 3

    Appropriate for any new-to-programming grade level. No prerequisites.
    This is an introductory, project-based programming course with emphasis on developing basic skills necessary to write event-driven, object-oriented applications using Python 3 and Wing101 IDE (or equivalent). Students will be able to demonstrate competency by creating programs using variables, strings, numerical values, loops if/else statements arrays, modules etc. Assessments will include vocabulary, and sample programs demonstrating unit topics and student-designed projects meant to solve problems with coding.
  • Programming Language Java

    Java is a well-established and versatile programming language that will run cross-platform.  It’s used primarily in client-server web applications, but has a lot of other uses as well - Android apps, and various embedded technologies use Java, and chances are, you’ve encountered it recently and weren’t even aware.  This course will cover the basics of Object-oriented programming. Before we dive into the language and syntax, you’ll learn about libraries and classes, data types, and loops.. You’ll spend time looking at established Java code, seeing how it works, then making changes to see how they affect the way the program functions.  You’ll learn to troubleshoot code and trap errors and even write your own programs from scratch. As a single-semester course, we will just get to scratch the surface, but you’ll walk away with a solid understanding of how object-oriented programming works and how to write basic programs in Java.
Maumee Valley Country Day School is the only age 3 - 12th grade accredited, co-educational, independent school in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.