Shannan McEuen’s 10th grade Algebra II classes took part in the “Spies Lies and Oh My’s” lab in the American Freedom Museum today as they began their study of matrices and how they are used for coding and decoding. The students were broken up into teams and assigned to the War Between the States/Hall of Flags, World War II/Pacific, and the Cold War/Vietnam galleries, where they were given the tasks of deciphering secret messages for battle. They traced the evolution of coding beginning with a simple Caesar Shift, then a mason cipher, followed by a keyword cipher and then a mask cipher. Students decoded each message to obtain answers to questions. Their correct answers were rewarded with ‘ammunition’ for a game of war between their class enemies!