Maryland History Day Awards

Eugene J. Becker Award for Excellence in Cybersecurity and Cryptology

Gene Becker

In late 2018, the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation established the Eugene J. Becker Award for Excellence in Cybersecurity and Cryptology for the Maryland History Day Contest with the Maryland Humanities Council (MDHC). This annual statewide contest involves over 450 students, 85 judges, plus parents and teachers. The winners go on to represent Maryland at the National History Day contest in June.

During the contest, there are categories for Junior and Senior school participants. Judges have guidelines for a variety of subjects, including the Foundation's special award topics such as cryptology, innovation, and cybersecurity.

Gene had a distinguished career in intelligence, and along with a few other pioneers was instrumental in guiding the Foundation during its early days. He served as the Foundation's president from 2006 to 2014. Even after retiring from his position as president, Gene remained involved and connected with the Museum and Foundation. He passed away in June 2018, but will always be remembered.

A special ceremony was held in October 2018 to honor Gene and the donations made in his honor. His family and friends requested that the donations be directed toward education endeavors. Learn more about Gene via the special ceremony page and via his In Memoriam Registry page.


2020 Eugene Becker Award Winners

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the 2020 Eugene J. Becker Award for Excellence in Cybersecurity and Cryptology (see below). Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, the 2020 Maryland History Day event took place digitally with no in-person competition. Students submitted projects, papers, and presentations and the award ceremony was held virtually. The National History Day competition will also be held virtually between June 14-18, 2020.

The theme for this year's event was "Breaking Barriers." As always, the Maryland History Day competition was packed with inventive, inspiring, and talented young minds. We are honored to present these special awards to the students. Click to see a full list of 2020 winners.

  • Title: Beyond the Beauty: How Hedy Lamarr Engineered Society
    Details: Click to see a video of the presentation online.
    Category: Senior Group Documentary
    Students: Astri Doub, Jaimie Griffin, Elizabeth O'Brien
    School: The Bryn Mawr School
    Teacher: Matthew Hetrick

    LETTER FROM THE WINNERS TO THE NCMF:
    Thank you so much for sponsoring the National History Eugene J. Becker Award for Excellence in Cybersecurity and Cryptology! We were so honored to win the award for our documentary on Hedy Lamarr and her development of spread spectrum technology. We found Lamarr such a fascinating person because while she was developing technologies that are still relied upon today, in her movies, she perpetuated the stereotype that a woman’s worth is determined by her beauty. This project has changed the way we examine the technology we use and also the danger with the women we choose to hold up as role models in our society, and we are so grateful to have gotten recognized for it!
    Sincerely,
    Astri Doub, Jaimie Griffin, Elizabeth O’Brien

  • Junior Level Winners
    Junior Level Winners

    Title: Code Breaking at Midway
    Category: Junior Group Documentary
    Students: Jack Harburger, Antione Sylvia
    School: The Mount Washington School
    Teacher: Ryan Kaiser


2019 Eugene Becker Award Winners

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the 2019 Eugene J. Becker Award for Excellence in Cybersecurity and Cryptology (see below). 2019 was the first year for the Eugene Becker Award and we were honored to present it to two very deserving students. The 2019 Maryland History Day event took place on 11 May, and as always, the competition was packed with the most inspiring, innovative, and talented young minds. The theme for the 2019 event was "Triumph and Tragedy." Click to see a full list of 2019 winners.

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SPECIAL NCMF AWARDS

Learn about the special NCMF awards presented to Maryland History Day contest participants.