This summer we ran workshops at Watermans Art Centre asking 8-12 year olds to "Make a Journey. Take a Journey." The results of the workshops will be exhibited in August and September as part of the Travel Unravelled season. Also running in the space were drawing drop-in activities with giant rulers, protractors and spirographs which decorated the walls. Logopolis was created in partnership with Watermans Art Centre.
Here's what we wrote in the workshop description : "Imagine you are a turtle with a paint brush attached to your belly, as you travel forwards you leave a trail of paint. As you move and turn an intricate pattern emerges. Welcome to the world of Turtle Graphics. During this activity you will create both physical and digital maps by designing a turtle program using pens and paper and also basic computer code. Kids will draw and measure templates, transfer these measurements into the turtle program and create new patterns and design animating sprites to follow these patterns around the screen. The results will be projected in the gallery space for the exhibition. We are calling this turtle graphics world LOGOPOLIS. As well as developing their creative skills, participants will also learn some Maths (angles and distances); basic computer programming (TURTLE graphics and designing behaviour) and sprite animation. You will learn how to build up complex forms by repeating simple motions."
The workshops sold out and went really well with 22+ kids aged 8-12 creating their own turtle chaos. In the first week the kids focused on the turtles with some producing up to 8 variations including a horse shaped path. The second week the excitement was more around creating crazy sprites and weird names - a particular favourite being THE ALL MIGHTY KINDA PINK TURTLE GOD.
We explained how the code works and got the kids thinking about RGB colours, distances, angles and how these physical measurements are translated by the computer into strings of instructions, for example here is that PINK turtle with the F's meaning go Forward and the R's meaning turn Right.
THE ALL MIGHTY KINDA PINK TURTLE GOD,255,6,5,1,255,2,7,10,FFFFFFFFFFFFFF RRRRRRRRRRRR FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
The kids asked lots of questions which was great, setting us challenges too. They suggested future ideas for developing Logopolis which included getting the sprites to eat the lines away and chase each other which we'll definitely add into the next version. We'll leave you with some of the crazy sprite sheets.
WATCH OUT FOR THE MEGA-TURTLE!