What is Student Crypto?

The idea of the Student Crypto is to give students the exciting knowledge about secret messages in a simple way. They should learn how important cryptography is in everyday life today and that it is not magic, but an application of mathematics. Many students very often ask themselves in mathematics lessons what it is used for. The Student Crypto gives an answer to this question in at least some of these cases. When mathematics and secrets are brought together, the exciting science of encryption, known as cryptology, is born.

The CrypTool Student Crypto has been around since 2009 and has been carried out 19 times in different cities. It has been carried out four times in Siegen (2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013), organized and sponsored each time by the bbz Siegen. Nine times (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019) the Student Crypto were sponsored by Deutsche Bank and took place at the Kelkheimer Eichendorffschule (the first time at the Bonner Akademie). Since 2013, the Student Crypto have also been held regularly (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017) at the University of Kassel. In Kassel, the Student Crypto is sponsored and organized by the Schülerforschungszentrum Nordhessen (SFN) and the Fachbereich 16 für Elektrotechnik/Informatik of the University of Kassel. In addition, the Student Crypto were also carried out several times (2015, 2016, and 2017) at the Karl-Rehbein-Schule in Hanau. The idea is based on the b-it in Bonn, which has already been carried out for several years by the Student Crypto under the direction of Prof. Joachim von zur Gathen and Dr. Michael Nüsken.

Unlike the b-it in Bonn, the Student Crypto in Siegen only use free software, so that students and teachers can use everything at home and at school -- at no extra cost. Another difference to the event at the b-it is that at the CrypTool Student Crypto offer different courses for teachers and students: The crypto training for teachers gave them an overview and background knowledge in the field of cryptography, which enabled them to better imagine what will be offered on the student day. With this knowledge the teachers could better estimate which classes of their respective school were best suited for the participation in the student day.

The lecturer of the CrypTool Student Crypto, Prof. Wacker, is head of the department Applied Information Security at the University of Kassel, where he represents the field of IT security in research and teaching. He is also the technical director of the open source e-learning software CrypTool 2. Therefore, all examples and demos in this event are based on CrypTool. Since CrypTool is freely available to everyone (open source), the knowledge gained can be applied and extended at home on your own computer at any time.