The red phone just rang. That can only mean one thing: the EXPLO Security Agency needs you.

The ESA just discovered a major breach to EXPLO’s online security, as hackers stole a series of plans created for our magical summer programming. We’re gathering a team of expert cryptographers to help locate and recover these plans in time for our next event. Your task: to crack criminal codes and encrypt secret messages to help locate these plans and make EXPLO secure once again. You’ll learn about major ciphers from the Caesar and Rail Fence Ciphers to the German Enigma machines. As you begin to create your own dialogues in code, you’ll also attempt to crack the criminals’ master code and retrieve our EXPLO treasure.

This course meets daily for 90 minutes.

In This Course You Will

  • Construct your own cipher wheel and use it to decrypt messages from the enemy… and from your friends

  • Design and encrypt your own secret code and receive feedback from teams who try to solve them.

  • Discover how to communicate top-secret messages in Morse Code both audibly and visually

  • Exercise creative problem-solving skills as the mystery unfolds

Required Materials

Cryptography students will receive a Curiosity in Action™ box with most necessary materials. Basic grocery store or household items may be required for some sessions. A detailed list of what’s included in your box and other household items can be found here.

This course requires us to ship the Curiosity in Action™ Box to arrive prior to program starting. Due to current international shipping constraints, we are unable to deliver to addresses outside of the continental United States.

We ask that students enrolled in this course have access to a desktop or laptop computer and a stable internet connection. A printer is recommended, but not required.