Bletchley Park Super Visit 2023
Brisk upon the open grounds of Bletchley Park, the recent Scholarship trip on Saturday 28th January ignited a passion for coding and deciphering in myself and many of my peers. It opened many opportunities to not only be a potential Mathematics trip for secondary schools but plenty of cross-curricular activities too. For example, Design Technology could incorporate how the wire inside an Enigma machine were structured to cipher letters. One way to do this would be to use a Pringle tube and something like string inside. Physics would benefit hugely from the National Radio Station room, where they could construct their own radio and learn about the frequencies used to connect the different locations in the world.
Being split into two groups it gave us the opportunity to network with other Trainee Mathematics Teachers and learn about how schools are run differently. During the tour we were given an insight into the conditions they would have had to endure during the war and what it would have been like walking into the unknown having received a cryptic letter from the government to say something like “your expertise as a linguistic are required by the government. Here is your one-way train ticket to a village called Bletchley, where you will then need to present all of the correct paperwork on arrival.” Intriguing, yet also exciting to know that you had been hand selected for something you had no idea about.
The excitement of having got to touch one of the three working Enigma machines at Bletchley Park taught me about the low probability chances of getting the correct deciphering just to make some sense of a sentence. Knowing that there were 103,325,660,891,587,134,000,000 different settings on an Enigma machine was incredible. Imagine the Eureka moment when you found a sentence logical! And it’s those kinds of moments which we aspire to give our students. This is one trip I would definitely recommend for all Mathematics teachers!
By Lucy Judd
Message from the Scholarship Team
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