An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News | Nov. 7, 2017

STEM Night Returning to the National Cryptologic Museum

Maryland STEM Festival 2017
Maryland STEM Festival 2017
Maryland STEM Festival 2017
Maryland STEM Festival 2017
Maryland STEM Festival 2017
Photo By: NSA
VIRIN: 181023-D-IM742-2053

The National Cryptologic Museum (NCM) is excited to host its third annual STEM Festival on Thursday, 9 November, from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Loads of educational, hands-on activities will challenge children's abilities in science, technology, engineering, and math. The event is part of the Third Annual Maryland STEM Fest.

Kids ages 10 and older will be building cable, taking control of a mini "satellite," discovering the secrets of rock formations, "stopping the delivery" of weapons technology, stopping a terrorist attack, and much more. NSA Volunteers running the activities will show participants how the activities relate to jobs or career fields that may interest them for when they grow up.

The hands-on activities planned for the evening are:

  • Radio - How Does It Work? - Learn how the technology that enables cell phones, WiFi, and Bluetooth work at its most basic level.
  • Find the Bad Guy - Demonstration of the use of a forensic kit to prepare an example handset to perform forensic analysis.
  • Space Cyber Challenge - Use a laptop ground station to command a CubeSat, a miniature satellite used for space research.
  • How Many Dinosaurs Are There? - Hunt, capture, and recapture dinosaurs and use statistics to estimate their total population. Then see how statistics are used to help break codes.
  • Building Cable - Build a Category 5 cable with Rj45 connectors and see how it is used to connect to the Internet, printer, transfer files, etc.
  • Microelectronic Devices - See microelectronics are made and used in everything from cell phones and tablets to computers and video games. Solve a resistor maze and answering our quiz to win edible chips and wafers!
  • Unlocking Earth's Secrets - Learn how satellite imagery gives us a record of the Earth's surface and how this information can be used to benefit people and business. Look at rocks through the microscope to see which layers formed first.
  • Infinite Loop Handcuffs - Get "handcuffed" to a partner (with yarn) and use math to separate yourselves without removing the yarn.
  • Stop the Attack - Use your math skills to stop a terrorist attack! Do you like codes?
  • Mini Cyber Challenge - Use your cyber skills to help the U.S. interdict a shipment of key weapons technology from reaching a rogue nation.
  • Working with Electromagnets - Build electromagnets and measure their strength.
  • Mathematics of the Enigma - Crack the world famous World War II Enigma! See a demonstration of the mathematics behind the Enigma, basic substitution ciphers, logic puzzles, secret writing, and error correction and detection schemes such as bar codes, ISBN codes, and the Luhn Algorithm.
  • Cryppies' Cryptogram - Join other Cryppies and solve a cryptogram on big screen!
  • Scavenger Hunt - Discover the science, technology, and math used throughout cryptologic history and win a prize.

More than 300 children participated last year, and the museum hopes to attract at least that many this year. With the addition of an activity presented by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and help from a volunteer from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the NCM is proud that STEM Night is growing in popularity and working with other agencies to educate our future generation in crucial skills.

STEM Night is free and open to the public, and there is plenty of free parking! For more information, visit the NCM's Facebook page at or view the event flyer for more information about the Maryland STEM Festival event, "STEM Night at the Museum". You can also contact the National Cryptologic Museum using our online form or call 301-688-5849. For directions to the National Cryptologic Museum, please visit our Map and Directions page.