Friday, July 12, 2019

skills and dispositions utilised in simulating a NAIDOC poster using Turtle Art

After attending a NAIDOC event at Araleun Arts Centre I changed the poster I was simulating since I thought I could (eventually) transform all the features to one computer screen. I haven't achieved that yet.

In this blog I want to list the skills and dispositions which I have needed to call upon to do the simulation. This is necessary to do a mapping onto existing curriculum guidelines which in turn is necessary to "sell" the approach to schools that are meant to be guided or bound by particular curriculum guidelines.

I haven't done a rigorous mapping yet. That would require more work since the approach I am advocating here integrates indigenous culture with art with computing (Design Technology) and maths.

Here is the NAIDOC poster, Celebrating NAIDOC Week:

Here is a snapshot of where I have got up to so far with Turtle Art:

I'm not attempting to explain here step by step how I did it. This blog is a listing of the skills and dispositions I think I utilised as I made the simulation. It's only a draft. To do this properly would require a team of people with expert knowledge in those four domains: Indigenous culture, Art, Design Technology and Maths

Circles and dots are part of aboriginal art. This is fairly obvious as is my ignorance of the significance of this for the culture. Ignorance which I need to rectify.

Define the problem: what is my goal here? A digital simulation which employs turtle geometry
Planning a solution or multiple solutions
Breaking the pattern into a series of circles or arcs of circles
Notice the variation in dot size, shape and spacing as well as colour (now implemented)
Draw some scaffolding lines to help organise positions (centre dot, outer circle)

360 degrees in a circle
an arc is part of a circle
angle estimation of arcs b/w 0 and 360
Factors of 36 (18*2, 9*4, 12*3) needed for writing procedures in Turtle Art,
eg. repeat 9[fd bk stuff, then right turn 40] will do one turtle trip around the circle, since 9*40=360

Multiplication (9 times tables, 90 times tables)
Subtraction, eg. if the start of the arc is at -20 and the end of the arc is at -190 then how many degrees is the arc? Answer 170
Division (see below)

pen down for when you want to draw
pen up for when you want to reposition the turtle
sequencing, do the background before the circles
How to draw a circle with the turtle returning to the centre (iteration or repeating)
How to draw a dot and vary it’s size, colour and shade
How to make the dots slightly lumpy (requires some randomisation and a variable to store the heading)
Cartesian co-ordinates xcor, ycor
Print feature to obtain xcor, ycor and heading when required
Positioning the turtle, eg. at the next circle centre
Heading of turtle (required for initial arc positioning)
Screen size x +- 340, y +- 265
Color codes ROYGBIV 0-100
Shade codes darkest 0, lightest 100
Naming procedures, using helpful or meaningful names systematically

Division estimation to determine dot spacing in an arc

eg 1. 6 dots in an arc of 90 degrees
Angle to turn = 90/6 = 15
Procedure: repeat 6 [ forward backward stuff then right 15]

eg 2) 8 dots in an arc of 170 degrees
Angle to turn = 170/8 = 21
Procedure: repeat 8 [ forward backward stuff then right 21]

Guess and test (tweaking): estimate, try it out, modify, test again (iterate, iterate, iterate)
Recording tweaks for efficient comparison, eg. to work out x and y coordinates for circle centre
Solution evaluation eg. the dots lack variation, how can I vary them more? (now implemented, they are slightly lumpy)

Try / fail / try again
Persistence, Flexibility, Tolerance of error / debugging

Turtle Art program

Turtle, Art, Turtle Art by Paula Bonta, Artemis Papert and Brian Silverman (2010)

Turtle Art Software by Gary Stager
This article contains a link to Gary's Turtle Art cards which I found extremely useful.

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