USF's WebQuest 


Author:  Gary J. Becea


Welcome to "A visit to Bletchley Park".  The Web Quest is about one of the most secret operations of the Second World War.  The British Government organized an amazing group of scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and even crossword puzzle experts to work at Bletchley Park to decrypt Nazi "Enigma" codes used in communications.   The operation at Bletchley Park was an astonishing success through the use innovative code breaking methods and the development of some of the world's first computers.  The operation was so secret that information about what occurred at Bletchley Park was not made public until the 1970's.  Bletchley Park's impact upon the course of the War and the development of Computer Science is apparent but to what extent is still debated by today's Historians.


The task is for you to form a team in order to conduct a historical inquiry into Bletchley Park.  The teams will study the operations of the code breakers, how the Germans used their codes, how the Allies applied what was deciphered at Bletchley Park, and how what happened at Bletchley effected the development of Computer Science. Your team will present your findings in a research paper and an accompanying Power Point presentation.  A main point to be presented is whether or not you believe the code breaking operations significantly shortened the war in Europe, and if so, by how many months or years.


Teams will consist of four students.  Each student will choose a subject area to study. One student will study Allied Code Breaking operations, the second will study the Axis codes/machines and their use, the third student will research the key individuals involved with Bletchley Park's operations, and the fourth will study the inventions/theories devised by people at Bletchley Park and their impact upon computers and Computer Science.  After hearing a lecture and viewing a video about Bletchley Park you will have conducted library research.  Now you are conducting web based research. Here are some links for you to begin:

Bletchley Park Museum     PBS     Alan Turing     Station X     Codes and Ciphers     The Poles/Battles     BBC1

BBC2     Pictures     Enigma     Early Computers

The sites above should provide you with much information and they also offer many links that you may find useful.  Your teacher will also provide your teams with some handouts concerning the subject.  The Web Quest will last two days prior to a weekend.  Your team will start an outline of the paper on Friday to be handed in Monday.  The outlines will be reviewed on Monday by your teacher and then the teams will write their paper and create their Power Point presentation.  The paper must be at least 5 pages (double spaced) in length but may be no longer than 10 pages. The Power Point presentation needs to only give an overview of your paper's content and conclusions.  Your teams will hand in the papers after the Power Point presentation.  Each team will receive Critique sheets to grade the other teams' presentations.


Your work will be evaluated according to these rubrics:


Vocabulary and Spelling 20 pts Paper contains more than 10 misspelled words and more than 10 instances of wrong vocabulary usage.  0 pts                          





Paper contains less than 10 misspelled words and 10 instances of wrong vocabulary usage but more than 5 misspelled words and 5 instances of wrong vocabulary.                   10 pts Paper contains less than 5 misspelled words and 5 instances of wrong vocabulary usage but at least 3 of each.  15 pts Paper has less than 3 spelling or vocabulary errors.                   20 pts
Content                           20 pts Paper does not cover subject.  No mention of important people, machines, methods, and battles.                            0 pts Paper covers subject but mentions only one important person, one machine, does not adequately explain code breaking methods, and only lists the effect on one battle/theater.              10 pts Paper covers the subject well and mentions at least three key figures, covers the machines involved, adequately explains code breaking methods, lists the effects upon at least two battles/theaters, and shows the effect upon Computer Science. 15 pts Paper is excellent. Organization is clear and subject is covered in depth.  The paper covers the influence of more than four key figures, provides clear explanations of the machines involved, gives a concise explanation of code breaking methods, lists the effects on the western theaters of operation, and clearly shows the effects on the development of Computer Science.                                20 pts
Conclusions and Reference                        20 pts Conclusions are not present or not clear and unsupported. No references are present.    0 pts Conclusions are not very clear and inadequately supported with evidence.  Only a few references (books, websites, etc.) are listed.                           10 pts Conclusions are clear and supported with some evidence. References are listed correctly. 15 pts Conclusions are clear and strongly supported with specific evidence.  References are listed correctly.                                  20 pts


















 Power Point Presentation

Presentation Content         20 pts Power Point has no pictures, is unclear, and does not flow well.           0 pts Power Point uses pictures, is reasonably clear, and flows well.   15 pts Power Point uses pictures, is very concise, and flows very well.                                      20 pts
Manner of Presentation     20 pts The presentation is haphazard and team members are unsure of the content.                            0 pts The presentation is organized, each team member demonstrates that they have a good grasp of their respective areas of study, and display confidence in their understanding of the subject.                   15 pts The presentation is very well organized, each team member shows a mastery over their respective areas of study, and display great confidence in their understanding of the subject.                                  20 pts



Your study of Bletchley Park will give you an appreciation of the effects that science, engineering, and technology can have upon warfare.  Your teams will discover the considerable accomplishments of the operation at Bletchley Park and the effects that the code breaking had upon WWII and beyond.  You are being asked to form an


opinion as to how much time Bletchley Park may have shortened the war, many Historians debate this idea and there are many theories.  Remember to consider all your knowledge of the war against Nazi Germany before forming your team's theory.