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Pupils have a cracking time with Enigma cipher machine at Cambridge school


By Adrian Curtis


Pupils at St Marys School with the Enigma machine and James Grime. From left, pupils Anna Scrivens, Isabel Clydesdale, Lethando Mhango, and Arianna Favot. Picture: Keith Heppell
Pupils at St Marys School with the Enigma machine and James Grime. From left, pupils Anna Scrivens, Isabel Clydesdale, Lethando Mhango, and Arianna Favot. Picture: Keith Heppell

Famous codebreaking machine visits Cambridgeshire

Pupils at a Cambridge school were given the chance to crack codes using a famous Second World War Enigma machine.

The Year 7 girls at St Mary’s School got to work on the 82 year-old Enigma cipher machine, owned by Simon Singh.

It was taken to the school by Dr James Grime, who runs the Enigma Project and who travels the UK and the world showing people the magic of mathematics using an original code-breaking machine.

The machine is one of only 20 on display around the globe.

Dr Grime gave the children a presentation on the history of codes and code-breaking as well as the history of the machine.

Dr Grime said: “Through this project I am trying to show people one of the more exciting uses of mathematics. It’s so important to get into science subjects and it was great to be a part of inspiring the girls at St Mary’s School.

“I hope the visit further inspires them to consider a maths-related career.”

Darren Kelly, head of mathematics, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to see maths used in a different, ‘real-life’ context.”



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