StarLogo is an extension of the Logo programming language that allows the implementation and operation of several activities. This is a specially designed software for students with interest in research activities, thus promoting new ways of thinking and understanding systems.

As with the traditional version of Logo, you can create drawings and animations by giving commands to a graphic "turtle" on the computer screen. StarLogo extends this idea by enabling you to control thousands of graphic turtles simultaneously. In addition, StarLogo makes the turtles' world computationally active: you can write programs for thousands of "patches" that make up the turtles' environment. Turtles and patches can interact with one another - for example, you can program the turtles to roam around the world and change their behaviors based on what they sense in the patches below. StarLogo is particularly well-suited for modelling complex decentralised systems.

One of the most famous aspects of the Logo language is that it enables the construction of geometric figures by means of a basic set of rules which define the so-called "Turtle Geometry". The StarLogo commands are divided mainly into primitive commands that are already implemented in the language, and names or labeled procedures written by the user which, once memorised by the computer, are executed as if they were primitive commands. It is extremely easy to create new procedures in Logo.

Some examples

To get an idea of some of the capabilities of StarLogo see the following examples:

WARNING: Sometimes applets take too long to load. If the waiting time exceeds 30 seconds it is advisable to close all browser windows and try to connect again.

You can also access the material that Atractor developed for StarLogo (for now, only in Portuguese!) disseminations events within the:

Software installation

For more information about the StarLogo program or to install it on your computer visit StarLogo website. It is not mandatory to have StarLogo locally installed to explore the applets available in the Atractor website. As a minimum, you need to have a relatively recent version of Java in your computer.

Please let us know if you notice any abnormality, and do not hesitate to contact us in case you face any problem.

Translated for Atractor by a CMUC team, from its original version in Portuguese. Atractor is grateful for this cooperation.

(*) This work was carried out under the context of the European project PENCIL in which Atractor and Ciência Viva were involved.

Difficulty level: Lower Secondary, Upper Secondary, University