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Secrets, spies and code-breaking in Enigma Machine talk

The secret world of spies and code-breaking returned to Gibraltar shores yesterday in the form of one of the few remaining World War II Enigma Machines.

The Enigma Machine is one of the most famous code-breaking machines of all time and the Germans used it to send their secrets during World War II.

Members of the Cambridge Outreach Team yesterday began a series of presentations and workshops for year eight students from Westside School to teach them another side of mathematics.

Gilbert Licudi, Minister for Education, said that this programme was all about bringing maths to life and demonstrating to students how maths can be used out of the classroom.

“In this case it was 70 years ago in World War II,” he said. “The students will get a historical perspective on how it came to be and a little insight into the complex maths that went into this ground-breaking machine.”

Half of Westside School attended the talk and took part in the workshops held throughout the day and Mr Licudi commended the regular visits from the Cambridge Outreach Team.

“It is a matter of great interest and we all know how important the machine was in terms of the efforts the British put in during the war,” he said.

Dr James Grime, who runs the Enigma project and delivered yesterday’s talk on the machine said that kids love the secrecy of code-breaking.

“These stories are full of spies, secrets and espionage,” he said.

“The kids really enjoy the code-breaking because it is all about sending secret messages in shapes and symbols. I hope that I harnessed this excitement and taught them a little about mathematics as well.”


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