Lab Requirement

As of 2014-2015 the Advanced Placement Computer Science A course must include at least 20 hours of hands-on labs. Three labs were created as exemplars and can be used to satisfy this requirement, but teachers can do other labs instead of these three. The three labs are Magpie, Picture, and Elevens. See for the student guides for each of these labs. Your teacher will provide the lab code to you. The particular code in each of these labs will not be on the exam, but the concepts covered by the labs will be on the exam.

Magpie Lab

The Magpie lab allows the student to work with the String class and conditionals with a chatbot. A chatbot is a computer program that tries to hold a conversation with a user. This chapter will walk you through the activities in the Magpie chatbot lab.

The first activity in Magpie is to explore some existing chatbots.

Activity 1: Exploring Chatbots

Go to to try out some chatbots.

Record the chatbot response to each of the following.

Ask the chatbot other questions.

Work with another student or group to have two chatbots converse with each other. Type the responses from one chatbot into the input area for the other and vice-versa.


Some chatbots look for particular keywords and respond based on those keywords. What are some of the keywords that your chatbot seems to be responding to? Why do you think it responds to those keywords?

Next Section - Activity 2: Running Simplified Magpie Code