How to Create Clusters of Objects in MicroWorld EX

By Camille McCue

Some of the MicroWorld EX programs you create will benefit from the ability to cluster objects, or obstacles. In this example the cluster of objects will be a cluster of asteroids formed into a column shape for each turtle. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click an open shape spot next to the alien spaceship shape.

    The Shape Editor opens.

  2. Reduce the zoom to 500%. Then pull and adjust the sizing dots on each side of the shape until the width is 50 pixels and the height is 120 pixels.

    Now there is sufficient room to paint!

  3. Use the paint tools and the gray colors and textures to draw asteroids of different shapes and sizes. When you’re finished, click OK.

    The asteroid column shape now appears on the Shapes tab.

    [Credit: Two left images courtesy of ESA/Hubble]

    Credit: Two left images courtesy of ESA/Hubble
  4. Move into the workspace and click the topcol1 turtle. (In Windows, first click the shape at the shape spot and then click the turtle.)

    The topcol1 turtle now wears the cluster of asteroids column.

  5. Click on the asteroid shape again and then click on topcol2. Repeat for topcol3, botcol1, botcol2, and botcol3.

    All asteroid turtles now wear the same shape.

An alternative strategy to “Create Asteroid Cluster Characters” is to complete one asteroid turtle in its entirely, and then copy and paste the asteroid turtle five times. Remember to name and size each asteroid turtle before proceeding.

When working with multiple turtles, it can be challenging to keep track of who’s who. Just use the arrow pointer to hover over a turtle, and its name will appear. Or, in an open turtle backpack, click the icon of the turtle in the upper-left corner of the backpack and the associated turtle will magnify in the workspace as if to say, “Here I am!”