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Coombes Girls School

Year 10 Science Museum Trip

Year 10 Computer Science students took a trip to the Science Museum to further their understanding of how computers are used in Cryptography (writing or solving codes).

Students visited the Information Age exhibition where they looked at how technology has changed the way that people communicate. On the way to the Information Age exhibition, students came across the rebuild of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine mechanical computer which was fascinating. 

Afterwards, students visited the special Code Breaking exhibition. This exhibition took the group through explanations of how cryptography is used and how it is hacked. A highlight of this exhibition was talking to a volunteer who was an expert in how spies use radio to transmit secrets around the world. 

Mr Nightingale stated,  “The main aim of the trip was to generate excitement in finding out about the use of technology in code-breaking to support the GCSE in Computer Science.  It was great to see the students so interested in the exhibitions and talking to the volunteers about the subject. We explored the story of Alan Turing and the team of Bletchley Park codebreakers who broke the Enigma code in 1941, and looked at spy equipment used in the 1960’s Cold War espionage.”

Two of the students give their views below:

Norahan

What I found the most interesting was the cipher exhibition where we heard a talk on how, in the Cold War, England used a specific type of code to send secret messages to their allies without them being intercepted. They also had different ways of encoding and decoding messages using a type of secure morse code, which is what they still use today. Overall our trip was insightful and we had lots of fun trying to decode caesar ciphers that spelled out secret messages.

Khadija

 We learnt a lot of new things that I did not know about. I learnt the type of machines they used to break dark and top-secret messages. I also learnt about the spies and how they would send the top-secret information that they had gathered. It was an interesting and enjoyable trip. I would love to go on more trips to learn more about amazing facts within computing!