Can High School Students Learn Cryptography?

Editor’s Note: Below is the second of a two-part blog post outlining the myriad class offerings available this trimester at Eagle Rock School. (Please see our October 4, 2015, blog post — Latest Eagle Rock School Classes Explore Everything from Coaching to Carpentry — for part one in this series.)

What we’ve highlighted here is in no way a complete listing of this trimester’s classes. Instead, it’s a sampling of classes that have the intention of engaging the student in their own education. Each is interesting, challenging, and certainly fodder for use in any number of current and future situation. In other words, useful education. These classes are already underway, and the first three listed below are 10-week courses that started in late-September. The rest are five weeks in length.

CryptographyCryptography: Prime numbers have puzzled and amazed mathematicians for centuries. They are at the center of beautiful patterns and there is no end to them (and certainly no way to ever fit them all into a book.) Prime numbers are also what protects every piece of information you send over the Internet — pictures, emails, passwords and more. Behind this is a long story of coders and hackers fighting a battle to secure information. The outcomes of these battles have had lasting impacts on our society, and will continue to play a role in how we share information. This class explores the mathematics behind secret messages, and the role they have played in history. The mathematics of this class is a branch called Number Theory that assumes only the knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Traditionally not taught until college, number theory is an exploration into the heart of mathematics. This class is solidifying student skills in mathematics, and giving them a sense of the love of puzzles that drive most mathematicians.

Theater Tech: Ever wonder what goes on ‘back stage’ to bring a story to life? Our Theatre Tech class is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the practical application of theatre production. This class is an introduction to the methods of scenic design and construction, properties design and construction, painting, costumes, and performance management. Students learn the skills required to create and problem solve in order to design and implement a setting that truly reflects the intention of a theatrical performance. Skills learned in this class include the operation of power tools and equipment. For the final product, students will be designing and constructing the set for the Eagle Rock School winter musical and will also have the opportunity to learn about and consider stage management positions for that particular production.

Exposure: If a picture tells a thousand words, imagine the power of effectively communicating with your photos and writing combined. In this class, students practice different methods of Continue reading…