Forensic Science
Shodor > SUCCEED > Curriculum > Workshops > Forensic Science


Throughout history codes have been used to pass secure information. In these activities students will learn about past and present methods of cryptography while working hands-on to code and decode vital information.

Objective: Students will learn about modular (clock) arithmetic and how modular arithmetic can be used to encode messages using simple shift, multiple, and affine ciphers.

Materials: Each student will need

  • Paper
  • Pencil or Pen
  • Computer with internet access (students can share computers if necessary)

Introduce the topic to students. Consider these exploration questions:

  • Why is cryptography needed? Why do we put things into code?
  • Where have you seen cryptography before? Online passwords, ATM machines, etc.
  • Have you heard of it being used in the past? The Zimmermann telegram hastened the entry of the U.S. into World War I.
  • Have you heard of Caesar Cipher?

The following sections will guide students through activities exploring cryptography.