Make a Chatbot: solve the riddle and save your PC!

By Fabrizia Agnello, Leading Teacher Italy

As a Technology teacher, I only have two hours a week per class so I carried out the CodeWeek Challenge “Make a Chatbot” over three weeks. Taking the idea from one of the EU Code Week Challenges I asked my eighth grade pupils (13 years old) to program a Chatbot to converse with a user. The idea was that the user had to solve a riddle to remove a virus (the Chatbot) from the computer in order to save all its files and documents. 

In the first week, I introduced the challenge to the chosen class and I asked the students to join in pairs to create a riddle and create some possible answers. The pairs of students thought of a riddle and all of the possible wrong answers. Then they thought about what the Chatbot would reply to each wrong answer.

This was great fun and the pupils really enjoyed this exercise. I then explained the basics of Scratch 3.0 and how to use the code blocks needed for the activity. 

During the second week, with my supervision and help, students studied the code needed to make the Chatbot do its job. Some pupils then programmed the Chatbot with Scratch, taking images from the web or creating a custom sprite, so each of them had the opportunity to let their creativity run wild. 

At the end of the third week, the Scratch 3.0 Chatbots were completed and shared between the pairs of students, so they could challenge each other to solve the riddles. They all became totally immersed in this exercise and I was happy to give a very good mark to each student for this activity. 

We were very excited and proud to take part in the EU Code Week challenges with this activity. In this video, can be found the Scratch code to be able to replicate the activity with your students. Have fun!