Encryption fun! – Learn how to make and keep secret messages – Live at 1130

PSA – You’re going to want the printout for this one. We’re also going to continue both the Zoom and Youtube chat. Come over to Zoom if you don’t feel like being on Youtube or need some extra help from Evan. We always troubleshoot projects in Zoom and get things working before wrapping up at 1.

Hey Science Family!

What would you do if you absolutely HAD to get a message about your new billion-dollar candy recipe to your best friend and you HAD to keep it secret?

That’s a question people have been asking for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Today, we’re going to teach you how to make a Jefferson Cipher, a special tool Thomas Jefferson used to keep some of our nation’s secrets safe from spy hunters and enemy soldiers. You never know when this knowledge might come in handy…

Can’t wait to see you for some secret fun!

Dr. Erica and Evan

Parent Takeaway – Cyphers and codes can be so much fun and give your kiddos a sense of control over the information they feel is valuable and secret. Not only that, but encryption continues to be at the cutting edge of business and government research. If you can’t keep your secrets safe, you’re in trouble. There’s always opportunities in cryptography.

Monday: Jefferson Cipher 

Activity: Build a Jefferson Cipher wheel

Step back into history as we build the same type of cipher wheel that Thomas Jefferson used to send secret messages to John Adams, James Madison, and even Meriwether Lewis (from Lewis and Clark).


  • 1 TP tube
  • Cipher wheel printout
  • Scissors
  • Tape