Social Studies

All About the History of Cryptography and Codebreaking Short Course 3 of 3

In this 2-week advanced interdisciplinary camp, students will learn the foundations of steganography, crypotgraphy, and cryptanalysis. Subjects include history, math, science, languages, and more! Specific topics listed below.
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30 minutes

per class

4x per week

over 2 weeks


year olds


learners per class

per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

Schedule of Topics:	

Lesson 1 - Deciphering Unknown Languages, More Frequency Analysis, and Constructed Computing Languages
Lesson 2 - How Computers Work, Binary, ASCII, and BASIC and Cryptographer's Challenge!
Lesson 3 - HTML, Computing Languages, Legacy Programming, Modern Digital Steganography, and Authenticity Assurance
Lesson 4 - Information Security and 64 Bit+ Encryption and Cryptographer's Challenge!
Lesson 5 - The Catch 22 of Key Distribution, Functions, and Modular Arithmetic
Lesson 6 - Asymmetry, Prime Numbers, Public Key Cryptography, and Cryptographer's Challenge!
Lesson 7 - Wiretapping, Privacy, the Internet of Things, Cyber Ethics, Social Engineering, Malware, and Digital Literacy
Lesson 8 - Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing and Cryptographer's Challenge!

The interdisciplinary nature of learning is a core component of this course as virtually every subject matter is included: math, science, social studies, literature, arts, computer science, engineering, agricultural science, etc. Significant people and events will also be noted.
I took my first coding class in the 1980's in a fourth grade gifted course, and I have been coding ever since. (I am still friends with that teacher!)  I have been a foreign language and civics teacher and professor for more than 20 years and a life-long Mensa member. As a child, I led more than my fair share of secret clubs with secret writing growing up. As a mom, one of my standard tactics at keeping my children busy was developing secret codes on the fly while waiting for dinner or on long road trips. And as a former college vice president of academic programming, (i.e., developing and updating degree programs), I worked on the first ever Cyber Security degree for a military college and supervised the development of the online courses to accompany it. Additionally, I attended meetings of the founding National Cyber Education Project Team working to align cyber standards nationally (U.S.) and also supporting the conversion of signals intelligence to cyber security expertise.  

I understand that modern issues of security and technology are more than just coding. Overall, they require logic, ethics, psychology, and a broad understanding of historical and future capabilities in a wide variety of fields. I also appreciate far-reaching implications of linguistics and computational linguistics in many areas, such as the arts, (e.g., languages in Game of Thrones and Star Trek), sports, (e.g., surveillance and espionage in competitions), healthcare, (easy access vs. right to privacy), and artificial intelligence, (algorithms and neural networks).  I think the studying of cryptography is one of the best avenues to explore the intersection of a wide variety of subject matter from the standpoint of a student's particular interests, developing important digital literacy skills that will affect them for the rest of their lives. 

And developing and solving hidden messages is really fun, no matter the method!

While I have designed this course to be a paced course, it offers flexibility to work at a learner's speed within the weeks to accommodate students' learning preferences and schedules.

See below for student responses to the question: "How did your teacher communicate with you and how frequently?"

(Note, student grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors are preserved.)

"My teacher talked to me often, she helped me alot [sic] through out this course. She would keep me updated, give me tips and helped me if i [sic] was stuck, she also would say good morning and things like that, i [sic] know its [sic] not relavant [sic] but i [sic] thought that was really nice."

"She would always end with have a good day and a lot of teachers don't do that."

"YES. She was great. Best teacher as far as communication that I have had while doing online classes."

"She sent us tips and tricks and responded on time to any questions or concerns."

"I would ask her questions about the guided practices and grading. She would update me on assignments I didn't finish."

"She went in depth to answer my questions in a timely manner, and never made me feel like the question was dumb to ask. she [sic] also reached out to me with things i [sic] could to to do better understand the lesson and help my grade."

"This was my first time taking an online course. I was really scared and worried it would be hard but it wasn't. i [sic] rarely ever had technical issues. My teacher helped me and explained every question i [sic] had. My teacher made sure i [sic] was always on task and assisted me with tasks i [sic] should complete. Overall my experience was great , and i [sic] would recommend this class."

"I was able to learn things that were supposed to be covered in [an earlier course] in school but my teacher didn't cover it well. The communication between the teacher and students was well oriented and it would be hard to misunderstand the messages she sends. I enjoyed this course!" 
Activities outside of the live sessions are entirely optional, but resources and practice activities are provided for the serious student.
Students have the option to participate in experiments, but it is not required. For the three-course series, supplies needed may include, but are not limited to: paper, water, baking soda, a white crayon, lemon juice, vinegar, screw driver, scissors, page from a magazine or newspaper, straight pin, markers, toilet paper cores, raw eggs, pens, string, empty cans from canned vegetables, screwdriver, padlock, ability to print or paper, ruler, pencils, etc.

Students will also be encouraged to use other software and websites such as Google Classroom, Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, Prezi, Duolingo, Quia, and other webtools and coding sandboxes as appropriate.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
  • other web resources
2 hours per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.


Andrea Bourne, MAT, EdS, ABD
Lives in the United States
Life-Long Learner and Teacher, Polyglot, Statistician, and Musician who LOVES teaching students online!
291 total reviews
339 completed classes

About Me

*I generally teach classes that last 8, 10, 12, or 16 weeks. The next live classes start in June 2022. See the schedule at the bottom of the page by selecting the month of June 2022 to explore new course sections. Thank you!*


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