Tuesday, April 12, 2011

CyberChase & Codes

working together on a code for me
My boys are really enjoying the Cyberchase Videos via youtube. Unfortunately our library only owns one in the entire DVD collection, but not a huge deal since we can view them online for free.

They asked if we could watch one the other day after lunch and I obliged. We tuned into one that had to do with codes. {You can start with part 1 here..} This was top notch with Morgan who's really into all things like that. Jayden was equally happy with it but not as into code cracking as Morgan is.

After the cartoon part of the show was over they had a "real life" clip at the end where one a friend popped in and stayed past his welcome without being much of a help in the home. In an attempt to keep a diary with a nosey friend around the home owner wrote in code. Morgan loved seeing them work out how to crack the code and a soon as the show was over promptly set about making his own decoder.

cracking a coded message he found waiting for him on the trampoline
In the show one of the kids uses a yo-yo to write numbers/letters on. Morgan dug up an old yo-yo but to no avail because his wouldn't twist. Then we found a freebie decoder online to print from a horse book. It had Alphabet on both parts instead of numbers and letters. So we flipped the second letter section over and slapped numbers on it.

The boys used that one to make Jayden one, but unfortunately their numbers/letters didn't match up the same on each decoder so the notes they kept passing around couldn't be deciphered very easily. Morgan decided he needed to try it differently. He decided a flat version like the boy in the show used during the "real life scene" was a wiser option because there'd be less chance of messing up the code.  A littler searching turned this up from the Cyberchase website. Instead of putting it around cups Morgan glued the letter strip to paper and then used two sets of the number strips taped end to end to decode with. He cut slits in the paper just below the letter strip {terrible photo I know..} and was able to just pull on the end tabs as he tried to decode things.  Unfortunately most of us were decoded out when he came up with this idea so he resorted to trying to decode number plates he saw while we were out.

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