For our last session of the semester, we had Dr. Giray Okten of FSU’s Mathematics department as our guest speaker! Dr. Okten led an activity involving the creation of secret codes.

We learned about how early civilizations used to encode messages–carrying a secret message in ancient Greece meant having your head shaved! A less objectionable method is the Caesar cipher, which we learned involves shifting the letters in the message forward or backward in the alphabet (e.g., “HI MOM” becomes “IJ NPN” if each letter is shifted forward one).

The students made a cryptography wheel and tried making messages using a Caesar cipher for their parents to decode. Then Dr. Okten had a special message for the students to decode. It revealed to them that they could find candy in the trash can at the back of the room!

And then, as is our habit, we had cake to celebrate the end of the semester!