Age Range: 11-14

For centuries, organisations and governments have wanted to send information secretly. The Second World War saw the first large-scale deployment of electronics for encryption.

The introductory video ‘Codebreakers’ explores how people based at Bletchley Park broke the German Enigma encryption during the Second World War.

In the history activity students explore the role and impact of secret messages and codebreaking during the war.

In the STEM activity students build a circuit and a scrambler and use it to send encoded and encrypted messages. As an extension they can try their hand at codebreaking.

Equipment list

Power supply eg 2xD cells
Four connecting leads
Two long connecting leads (a series of shorter leads can be attached to make long leads)
Two bulbs and holders
Split pin (or a drawing pin and cork)
Writing paper