Exercise: Space Exploration

Searching for Inspiration

Do this
Search for an interesting space-project in Open Processing. You can search with the keyword “space” but try out other search terms, too!

Educator notes

Activity: Find a couple of nice Space-themed projects yourself and show them to students in the classroom! Have a discussion together about what technical and aesthetic choices create a cool space-environment. Besides Processing-projects, you can google interesting space imagery. Scifi-music can also help to set the right mood!

Space Exploration

Space Exploration - Example Projects

Mystical Window to Other Dimension 
The rectangle moves continuously and bounces back from the edges. The location-variables are used as the size and the color of the rectangle too. In the background, there's the Speed of Light -project from this chapter.

Lighthouse Scanning the Cosmos
The light is a triangle: one corner is static but two others are moving continuously and bounce back from the edges. Stars in the background are randomly located small ellipses.

Observing Eye from the Pink Planet
The color of the pupil of the eye is partly random. The planet is a huge ellipse.

Exercise instructions

The advised maximum time for this project is 30 minutes.

  • Build your project on the setup- and draw -methods
  • Draw a canvas-size rectangle in the beginning of draw-method to refresh the background! The background can be partly transparent.
  • Include at least one object which moves continuously.
  • Use random-command at some point of the program.
  • Use at least three different colors.
  • You can use an idea that you found in Open Processing project, but don’t copy it. Instead, hack the idea and make it your own!
  • Write comments to your code with "//" marks and explanations. 


Educator notes

Instead of trying to produce a specific result, experimenting is often a better way to start.

There is no a value alone in using complex programming structures. Try to get the students to focus instead on the expression - what do I want to illustrate and why? Students should spend approximately 30 minutes on this project which will hinder them from making very complex creations!

See to it that the students don’t copy ready-made code without first understanding it.

You can have a small demo-exhibition where students show their projects to each other and tell how they came up with their ideas. And wouldn’t it be great if those projects were projected on the walls of the school’s lobby/hallway..?