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Hidden Figures

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Activity 2
WB p. 74

Hidden Figures

Group 1

The Imitation Game: Who Were The Top Code Breakers of WWII?

[Alan Turing] is credited with breaking the Enigma code in 1941. [...] After the war, Turing built on these ideas to develop something closer to the computer we recognize today. Turing’s life and tragic end by suicide following years of persecution and “treatment” for his homosexuality were immortalized in the 2014 film The Imitation Game. [...]

Shortly after the invasion of Poland by Germany in 1939, a group of cryptanalysts were evacuated to France. The group consisted of employees from the Polish Cipher Bureau who had been working on the German Enigma code. [...] Rejewski’s work on the Enigma code was very significant. As early as 1932, while still in Poland, he developed an in-depth understanding of how the machine worked. He even managed to reconstruct its internal wiring without ever having seen the machine.

Rejewski is credited with doing groundbreaking work that allowed the code finally to be broken by Turing in 1941.

Rejewski returned to Poland after the war. For a long time, he kept quiet about his remarkable code breaking skills to avoid the government becoming interested in him. [...]

Due to the secretive nature of their work, many cryptanalysts never received recognition for their work until many years later. But their contribution to the war effort was hugely significant.

“The Imitation Game: Who Were The Top Code Breakers of WWII?”, Eileen Farrelly,, 2019.

Group 2

Joan Clarke,

Joan Clarke, woman who cracked Enigma cyphers with Alan Turing,, 2014.

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You are in charge of one document.

Present your document. What is striking about it?

a. Pick out details about the historical context.

b. Go on the Internet to learn more about it.

Useful vocabulary: During World War II, women played a valuable / significant part as... At the time, nobody knew that... Years later, it was revealed that...
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Let's talk this out!

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Share your findings and learn about the other document.

a. What do both documents have in common?

b. Explain the impact science had during the war.

Who do you admire the most? Justify your answer.
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On your way to the task ❯❯ Step 1

A Turing Bank Note

Let’s use what you have learnt in and / or !

In commemoration of WWII, the Bank of England wants to design a new bank note. Discuss with your group which one of the people presented on p. 156 and this page should be pictured on this note.

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