The CryptoClub Project develops classroom and web-based materials to teach cryptography and related mathematics to middle-grade students in informal settings. In addition, the project provides supports for potential and current CryptoClub teachers. There are annual leader-training workshops, conducted by project staff, where teachers and afterschool providers can learn cryptography and learn how to run their own CryptoClubs.
The project has also developed a program to help CryptoClub leaders learn how to incorporate video-tutorial making into their CryptoClubs. Students create video tutorials that describe their solutions to mathematics and cryptography problems and, in the process, focus more deeply on the problems. Cryptoclub leaders may attend a Video Tutorial Training Workshop to explore how to incorporate video-making as part of their CryptoClubs.
Cryptography is important in our modern technological society, not only to diplomats and military personnel, but also to ordinary citizens, as they use computers and cellphones to share information through the Internet while shopping, banking or just communicating with friends. Teaching students about cryptography makes them aware of basic notions of encryption, helps prepare them for jobs in STEM fields in which data security is important, and makes them aware of cryptography as a career choice. And, because of the mathematical nature of the subject and the natural interest surrounding secret messages, cryptography is also an exciting hook for learning and applying mathematics.