StarAcers Concept Art 0002

Here's more exploring StarAcer Academy. Specifically color concept.
I think i prefer the middle one. Makes me think of a rose in bloom or coral.
 is getting a facelift

Yup. It's true. The website is getting a little work done.
We want it to be:
- A helpful science resource hub for teachers.
- An awesome comic with an adventurous story and compelling characters.
- Really cool.

We're set to launch it for bug testing in May 2012! StarAcers Ahoy!

StarAcers Concept Art 0001

Welcome to the journey of the art.

Hi there,

I'm Luke Gustafson, a co-founder and the lead artist here at StarAcer Academy.  I set the design, the tone and style of all the art and design that represents the StarAcer world. I also help Geoff Steeves here and there, in writing the stories.

I'm going to start sharing the journey of the StarAcers artwork.

Here are a number of concept sketches of StarAcer Academies central building called - The Brillouin Zone Tower the BZT!

The above sketch shows StarAcer Academy with a space elevator coming out of the top and going right up into outer space. We liked this idea but it's too far removed from real world technology and the goal of StarAcers is to incorporate leading edge technology and research but not so fantastical that it can't be absolutely real in a couple of years.

These 6 sketches are the various explorations of the main building of StarAcer Academy, the BZT. I was referencing a lot of quantum images, reading a lot about quantum mechanics, and reading a lot about fusion in the sun. Which is a profound and amazing process. Hydrogen makes up 90% of the mass of the sun, it is then smashed together in the process of fusion to make helium, from here there is more smashing of these atoms to make other elements. Like carbon, sulfur etc. These elements then come together (eventually over billions of years) to make planets and then life and then US! amazing. Forgive my butcher job of that amazing process. but it is truly mind boggling that "we are made of starstuff". best put forth by Neil Degrasse Tyson



Here I'm exploring the inside of the BZT. Each gigantic entrance represents an element that the sun outputs. Hydrogen is the biggest entrance because it makes up the majority of the suns mass, 90%. Helium is next

In the center of the main floor space which is roughly the size of an international airport interior, (massive and awe inspiring) is a sculpture of a hydrogen atom. One electron hovers as a barbell which represent the probable space the eletron could occupy. and the Tube around the barbell is the positrons probably space. This is based on quantum mechanics probability aspect that an electron and positron aren't really spinning around each other. But are in all probable areas at all times. Not only that the these atomic components are also waves and particles at the same time! I'm not doing this definition justice, I'm simply trying to infuse these profound concepts into the structures and design of StarAcer Academy. Feel free to email a definition to-

Here are my earlier notes about the BZT-

The Central Building -
Basically a cathedral like space. Or like an airport interior. Large, lots of light and crystalline. It should feel very modern but also hearken back to the glory of civilizations. Arabic, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, even the caves of the Neolithic, JFK, the tower of piza, the statue of liberty, tienimen square, the Eiffel tower, the guegenhiem’s, frank Loyd wright, petra-jordan,

Within, the student is presented with large sculptural integration of space and physics models. The psyche of the student is inundated with science upon entering the building. Actually each entrance into the building. let’s say their are 10 entrances (the 10 elements that make up the sun). And each entrance is scaled to the percentage that they represent in the suns composition (well close)... Each entrance is a diverse portal. based on a model of the atoms like the building blocks of the elements. or the building blocks of organic life. -

Element % of total atoms % of total mass
Hydrogen 91.2 71.0
Helium 8.7 27.1
Oxygen 0.078 0.97
Carbon 0.043 0.40
Nitrogen 0.0088 0.096
Silicon 0.0045 0.099
Magnesium 0.0038 0.076
Neon 0.0035 0.058
Iron 0.030 0.014
Sulfur 0.015 0.040

In order for any student to enter the building they must identify the element of the entrance they are entering (the first time...). There isn’t a force field or anything stopping them but their marks will show that it hasn’t been done. Until it is completed they may not pass onto the next level.
This is one of the basic entry requirements to enter SA, to identify all ten elements of the sun. There are a few other star-newbie requirments before being accepted into SA.


The blue is my structural overlay of the BZT. We want the StarAcer world to be feasible. We want it to be very close to reality. If we received a billion dollars we could build this structure. And so I ask any engineering or architectural professional or student or enthusiast to explore making this building real and functional. With my limited knowledge I've populated the structure with the shapes known for strength: triangles, arcs and circles.

In this final drawing I have drawn in pink and purple, modes of transport up the structure. A large elevator for moving massive research equipment. And some fast people moving transport tubes. The pink swirl is stairs! or escalators... a top down would reveal that the stairs look like an exploded atom spiraling in seeming all directions.

Astronaut Bob Thirsk! Now a StarAcer!

StarAcer Academy is thrilled to announce that Dr. Bob Thirsk has given us the green light to use his name and likeness in future StarAcer comic adventures! Bob Thirsk has spent 204 days in space! That's roughly 7 months! In space!

He joins an incredible team of Canadian Astronauts supporting StarAcers. We are very thrilled and honoured by the roster of inspiring individuals who have given their approval, their time and encouragement to us and this fine science learning endeavour. StarAcers ahoy!


Results of the 10 second Poll!

The results of the 10 second poll are in!

The official tag line for StarAcer Academy is - We grow astronauts.

7 people voted for - We grow astronauts.
3 people voted for - Astronauts, apply within.
5 people voted for - Space for kids.

Thanks to all of your who voted and came to this site to check out StarAcers. We're about to launch into developing our for real website that will feature more comics, missions and rewards!

StarAcers- this close to real space!

StarAcer Academy is this close to space! In the image below, Canadian astronaut Dr. Robert (Bob) Thirsk holds a picture of StarAcer founder, Geoff Steeves. Dr. Thirsk was on the International Space Station in November 2009 while Geoff was going through astronaut training with the Canadian Space Agency.

Below you see Dr. Bob Thirsk with the amazing Julie Payette (a shining StarAcer supporter herself!). This was the first time two Canadians met in space!  

Bob Thirsk is also connected with the very cool, very educational  tomatosphere project.

A bit about Tomatosphere - "Tomatoes are practical and valuable plants for space applications. They provide wholesome  nourishment, as well as purified water through evaporation from their leaves.Today's students are the plant specialists, space scientists and Mars explorers of the future!"

If you're a teacher interested in taking part in tomatosphere in french or english click the link below!

We need your help! Take part in 10 second Poll!

We want to hear what you think. We need your help!

Take part in our 10 second poll! On the right of this post you can see the question -

What StarAcer Academy 'tagline' do you prefer?

Click on your favorite! Or suggest another one to

While your emailing us let us know what you think of StarAcers!

Happy New Year from StarAcer Academy!

First of all, Happy New Year to our teachers, students, friends and supporters. We're very excited to be here with you in 2012.

We have an amazing 18 months ahead of us. You may be wondering, "what have those StarAcer guys been up too?!"

Well, we've been making headway in a very interesting direction. We've been hard at work creating an entirely fresh learning experience and an infrastructure to support it. What does that mean exactly? Well, we are now an official not-for-profit organization called StarAcer Academy.

In the coming months we will be entering into a series of experiments and surveys to solidify our positioning and best align ourselves with the needs of our StarAcer teachers and students. We are really looking forward to continuing our success and growth this year and the next. Thank you all for your interest, feedback and continuing support!

Peace on Earth

As the holidays begin (happy Chanuka!) we here at StarAcer Academy want to wish all of our friends, teachers, students, administrators, advisors and supporters the very best.  Without each of your contributions we wouldn't be at this point in our journey.  This image of the Earth makes me think of the extraordinary journeys of all the earth's astronauts and cosmonauts past, present and future.

Happy Holidays and peace on Earth!


WOW! The extraordinary Julie Payette!

I am very pleased to write that the stellar  Julie Payette, astronaut, space ambassador, champion and beacon of human potential, has given StarAcers the thumbs up to use her likeness and name in our comics. The virtual halls of StarAcer Academy ring with cheer!

I very much look forward to creating more amazing comics starring our outstanding, real-world astronaut friends. Wow, what a day.