What do you know about codes?

CryptographyWelcome to Week 1 of the Spring 2016 Brain Chase semester! If you’re a team guide this semester, this may be your first time leading your team through a Bonus Challenge. That’s big! And it can be tons of fun too. If you’re not quite sure how to get started or how to get your team intrigued by the Bonus Challenge, we’re here to help!

First off, you’ll want to have your decoder rings handy when you tackle the Week 1 Bonus Challenge. Haven’t received your decoder ring yet? No problem! Use this virtual decoder to solve the puzzle. You’ll notice that you need to enter a secret phrase in order to complete the challenge. Can your team figure out how the letters and numbers work together to reveal the secret pass phrase?

Codes and ciphers are a rich source of conversation material for your team, and you may want to look into the following resources to help your students understand the important history of codes. Cryptography is the art of writing or solving codes, and it really is an art! Khan Academy has an amazing introductory course on cryptography. You may want to check it out with your students here. Then challenge your students to answer some of the following questions:

  • What have been some of the most popular or frequently used codes throughout history?
  • What are a few key historical events in which codes have played an important role?
  • What type of code does the Brain Chase decoder ring use?
  • What kind of codes can you invent?

Have fun and we’ll see you next week!

Yours in adventure,

The Brain Chase Team