This week at Bletchley Juniors Codebreaking Club I arranged a codebreaking challenge. This was a recap of some of the codes we have explored to date (Pigpen, Caesar Shift, Polybius Square) for the children who have attended since the first week, and new material for the children who have only recently joined us. I split the children into four teams, which I named after Greek gods and goddesses (Zeus, Hera, Athena and Hermes). (This club is rapidly turning into a crash course in Greek mythology!).
The first challenge was to decode sentences describing an animal, then draw the answer. The second challenge was a treasure hunt: I had hidden envelopes around the hall and the decoded message told the children where to look. The third challenge involved deciding which of a set of Medieval objects was the oldest (sets included crowns, swords, arrows and shields).
Further challenges included: addition and subtraction questions; sentences describing Luke Skywalker (e.g. I have a twin sister); deciding which shape is not symmetrical; deciding which number comes next in a sequence; and adding a nought and a cross to make a pattern symmetrical. One team even got as far as decoding the Riddle of the Sphinx, and having a go at figuring it out.
Overall this was another very enjoyable week, with a real buzz in the room when the children brought me their answers to check and collect their next challenge.