Maths Investigation Day - "Big Numbers, Great Ideas"
Some Year 8 students visited The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park Estate in Milton Keynes, on 5th March 2020.
A tour of the museum introduced us to the world famous, ultra-secret code-breaking efforts of Alan Turing and his colleagues. The mathematicians, programmers, morse code experts etc. during wartime 1940s who broke the codes of the German Enigma and Lorenz cypher machines , ultimately shortening the Second World War. How this then gave rise to the first true computers, large mainframes of the 1950s - 70s, and the rise of personal computing in the 1980s and the internet and beyond. Great fun was had playing the retro computer games. Who remembers Space Invaders?
Students then became a human Enigma machine and learnt about the maths behind code breaking, the thousands of possible coding combinations and how a machine, The Bombe, was built to speed up the manual process of these calculations. They then went on to understand how prime numbers, patterns, statistics and probability are used to ‘hack’ more complex codes and encryptions.
An information packed day had by all and we hope to return again soon.