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Secret Writing Devices


Source Institutions

    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

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Secret Writing Devices

In this activity about encryption, learners cut out a secret decoder badge from a handout and use it to encode messages to each other. They can also create their own codes that are different from the given ones on the handout, so that no one else in the group can read their messages. The activity includes an extension activity where strips of paper are wrapped around pencils and other round objects to recreate the scytale (pronounced side-uh-lee), a Roman encryption device.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • copies of Master A: Secret Decoder Badge (in PDF)
  • scissors
  • pencils
  • paper
  • chalkboard, whiteboard, flip chart or overhead
  • tape
  • OPTIONAL: pens and markers of different diameters

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
      • Information Systems
      • Information Technology
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Mathematics
    • Problem Solving
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and History

Informal Categories


  • Computers

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, OMSI, ©2005

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation ESI, 0206403

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