Why it's relevant

Amazon Echo's Alexa would be a great classroom helper. With the right set of skills and a few applications, Alexa could be a staple in the classroom setting. This would allow teachers to make a game of Jeopardy in the classroom simple and even more fun than before.


Inspiration for Alexa Jeopardy came from many places. First, we were experimenting with the Amazon Echo to see what it could do, we saw that there were developer tools we could use, we tried to access them, which seemed to be a challenge at first, but we eventually got it. Another inspiration was from a school game called Eggspert. Eggspert was a playful classroom tool to create classroom quiz games and trivia. So we thought of an idea to incorporate Alexa, an eggspert type system, and also Jeopardy into one project!

What it does

Our Hack is to create Jeopardy for the classroom and in-home for the Amazon Echo. As in Jeopardy, you will speak a category and a number denomination. Alexa will hear you and then read you the question and display it on one interface. Alexa will then wait. After a prompt for and tell you if you are right or not and award points accordingly. Each team/player will have an interface with a button on it that will be used to buzz in. The teacher will also have an interface that allows them to override answers if Alexa hears wrong. The teacher will also have the ability to pass the question to the next person that buzzed in if they didn't answer in a timely fashion.

How we built it

We build most of the system using AWS and Amazon Dev. We also used JavaScript. We started with the Alexa Skills. Then we would build the web interfaces.

Challenges we ran into

At the start, we had a big problem with setting up amazon accounts and dealing with AWS. We spent a few hours trying to get one account to work for us but we eventually figured it out. So we had a very late start hacking. We ran into a few problems with making Alexa read and register things so we were unable to connect all of the pieces and make them all run together.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Once everything was starting to come together we were proud of how far we came. We also were proud to be one of the few teams to program with the Amazon Echo. We were very proud of being able to try out a bunch of new technologies, even though we did not incorporate them in our hack, such as the leap motion and oculus rift. The biggest thing we are proud of is our idea. We are all very excited to be able to present it.

What we learned

We all learned a lot about the Alexa API and how to use it, using JavaScript with showed us that developing for the Amazon Echo could be pretty appealing to developers, using Amazon's AWS. We also learned a bit about our strengths and weaknesses when working in a group, especially since we mostly created our group at the hackathon itself.

What's next for Alexa-Jeopardy

We would have liked to create a physical buzzer to buzz into our system. The online interface would get an entire redesign. We would also have been adding the ability to create custom categories and a bigger library of already made ones. Challenges with accessing the AWS largely prevented our goals.

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