Maryland History Day

Major General John E. Morrison Award for Excellence in Education and Innovation

Senior Level Winners (Click to read a summary of their project & visit their website.)

Senior Level Winners (Click to read a summary of their project & visit their website.)

Summary of the Project Website - provided by the 2021 Senior Level Morrison Award winners, Mackenzie McCarter and Hanna Weikert of South Hagerstown High School. Click here to visit the website.

Our website, “Shielded by Steel; How the Preservation of Cockpit Communications Has Led to Safer Air Travelexamines the tremendous role that digital flight recorders shape training protocols and flight procedures. Two recording devices, the Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder are present within each black box, recording both crew conversations and audible sound as well as logistical information such as weather, airspeed, and cabin pressure.

We have detailed how the infamous black box is virtually indestructible, making it incredibly reliable during accident investigations as well as a trusted tool for pilot training. Created in response to a series of unexplained plane crashes in Queensland, Australia, the black box has since provided pilots, researchers, trainees, and the public with useful information that is used to improve flight safety as a whole.

In connection to this year’s Maryland History Day theme, “Communication in History,” our website focuses on the communication between the plane itself and the flight crew, communication among the flight crew, as well as reflective conversations considering black box data during pilot training.”

If you’re interested in learning about the founding and development of flight recorders or perhaps why black boxes are actually orange, our website is the place to go!


Learn about the many female cryptologic pioneers.