Summer Schools: How to keep a secret (age 16–18)

10.30am to 4.30pm, Thursday 15 August

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Tim Mitchell
  • Type

    Summer Schools
  • Audience

    Age 16–18

  • Speakers

    • Chris Darby


Standard £50

Ri Young Members £42.50

Event description

In the modern age of information and mass communication, how do governments, companies and people like you and me keep secrets safe?

During this workshop you will learn how to build the modern-day equivalent of ancient roman ciphers, invent your own cryptography and also see how, no matter how good the encryption, you can (almost) always find the secret message.

About the speaker

Chris Darby holds a degree in Electronic and Information Engineering from Imperial College, and has been programming since he was 14. During his time studying, he worked as a software engineer for various companies around the world, developing everything from industrial control systems to karaoke software.

Chris has been running cryptography Masterclasses with the Ri for the past few years and is very keen to return to Summer Schools this year.

Please note

This workshop is strictly for 16–18 year-olds and will include a 45 minute unsupervised lunch break. Students should bring lunch and a drink, pens, pencils and a USB drive if they wish to take their work home.

Discounted tickets are available to Ri Members. Find out more about how to join.

This workshop is based on an Ri Computer Science Masterclass. Students who have attended a Masterclass series which included a session on a similar topic may have already seen some of the content in this workshop. Please contact us on with any questions.

Refunds can only be issued for tickets cancelled at least two weeks (14 calendar days) in advance of the event date. Please note that this supersedes our normal event terms and conditions.


Workshops are on the first floor of our building, for which there is step-free access from the street via lift.

The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free.

Seating is usually unreserved for our events. If you and your group require seating reservations, or if you have any other questions, please do let us know by email and we’ll be more than happy to help. Email:

Financial assistance

The Potential Trust may be able to offer financial assistance to enable children to participate in Ri events and activities if this would otherwise be difficult. Please contact Anna Comino-James preferably via telephone on +44 (0)1844 351666, or at their email address

Ri Young Members receive 15% off workshops

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