Hidden in Plain Sight

Steganography is the science and art of hiding messages in plain sight so only the sender and intended recipient know the existence of a message. Steganography can be characterized as security through obscurity. Through this lesson, students experience a portion of the engineering design process as they research steganography and steganographic methods; identify problems, criteria and constraints; brainstorm possible solutions; and generate ideas. These are the critical first steps in the engineering design process, often overlooked by students who want to get to the "doing" phases—designing, building and testing. In computer science, a thorough design phase makes program implementation much easier and more effective. Students obtain practice with a portion of the design process that may be less exciting, but is just as important as the other steps in the process.