Site URL: NSA.Gov/Kids
Content: At this site from the National Security Agency, students can learn all about cryptology, the art of making and breaking codes. They can play games and even create their own codes and ciphers.
Design: The entire kids’ area of the NSA site is Flash-based, so it looks and functions well—as long as users have the Flash player installed. All of the site’s content comes via the NSA’s fictional CryptoKids team—Crypto Cat, Decipher Dog, Rosetta Stone, Slate, Joules, T. Top, the CyberTwins Cy and Cyndi, and the leader CSS Sam. These characters lead students through the site’s various activities.
Review: The NSA’s stated goal is educating the next generation of mathematicians, linguists, engineers and analysts. To that end, the site encourages students to hone math, language and analytical skills as they solve cryptology puzzles.
Apart from the various code and cipher activities, CryptoKids offers great student resources for those who want to take things to the next level. Find information on NSA high school programs as well as career possibilities, background from the National Cryptologic Museum and a schedule of events.
Bottom Line: CryptoKids is a rare Internet jewel, a site that lets students work on a variety of academic skills while giving teachers a way to offer a reward.