Cryptologic Museum and NWF Refuge

Today we visited the NSA! Really! Well, we visited the National Cryptologic Museum next door to the NSA. We learned all about code and how it was used for communication during the wars.

I joked with Mom that I was sad to not see big foot and loch ness. I first thought the sign said CRYPTOZOOLOGY!


We got to see a piece of the Pentagon that was damaged during 9/11. IMG_8741

We saw a model of the Rosetta Stone. I loved looked at it and enjoyed all the hieroglyphics.  IMG_8742
We saw some really HUGE old data storage machines. This one was the size of our car and helped 77,000GB of data on cartridges.

These machines were all used to store pages of data and codes.


I was fascinated by some of the older code machines.


This is the Enigma. I had a great time coding on it and then learning how to decode messages using a key.


While at the museum we did a Crypto Kids challenge and had to decode answers to questions using a crypto wheel. It was the alphabet forwards on one wheel and backwards on the other. You picked your code (for example a=f) and then set to making or decoding a message.


Next we visited the Patuxent Research Refuge and learned a LOT about whooping cranes and the programs the center is doing to help restore the population. They have 30 chicks so far this year!


We had a fun time with the interactive crane game.


We watching migrating canadian geese out in the refuge.


We even became whooping cranes.


I am always fascinated by the size of an eagles nest.


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