BACK Congratulations to National History Day Arizona Students

National History Day Roadrunner Congratulations

And that’s a wrap on NHDAZ 2021! Despite a challenging year, Arizona’s students had an impressive showing, as always! Students tackled this year’s theme, Communication in History: The Key to Understanding, with gusto, choosing diverse topics that covered World War II, racism and racial violence in the United States, women’s political and civil engagement, ancient languages, environmental issues, and so many more. Students promoted to the NHD National Contest will compete virtually in June against thousands of other students from across the country and world!

Thank you to our National History Day Arizona sponsors and supporters that help make this program possible: Albertsons, Arizona Humanities, The Foothills Club of Tucson, Historical League, Inc., Northern Arizona Pioneers Historical Society, SRP, and Smart & Final.

An extra big thank you to the dozens of judges who spent hours reviewing every project and helping students grow and improve from regionals to state and onto nationals. NHDAZ would not work without you!

Interested in learning more or participating in NHDAZ? Planning for the 2022 Contest is already underway! Contact NHDAZ Coordinator Jaynie Adams for more information about how you, your student, or your school can get involved!

Read more about the NHDAZ contest winners and special awards.

NHDAZ 2021 By the Numbers:

  • Regional contest participation: 217 students, 157 projects across 4 contests
  • State contest participation: 123 students, 89 entries
  • State contest winners: 80 students, 54 entries
  • Promoted to the national contest: 56 students, 34 entries 
  • Special award winners: 13
  • Teacher Awards: 4
  • Judges: 37

Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year

  • Jeanette Wingate, Flowing Wells High School
  • Rebekah West-Keur, Sunrise Middle School

NHDAZ Teacher of the Year

  • Christie Higgins, Heritage Academy Queen Creek
  • Mary Hall, Northwest Christian School

Direct-support classroom microgrants: 4

  • Katherine Reddy, Westwood High School
  • Ellen Miller, Laird Elementary School
  • Brandon Vignuex, Summit Academy
  • MacKenzie Uliasz, Accelerated Learning Laboratory

Youth Division Ranking

Please note that youth projects are NOT promoted to the National Contest

Individual Exhibit

  • 1st Place: Navajo Code Talkers: The Unbreakable Code
  • 2nd Place: Frequency Hopping that Changed the World of Communication 
  • 3rd Place: History of Traffic Signs: Easy to Understand Non-Verbal Means of Instant Communication with Travelers

Individual Website

  • 1st Place: Alan Turing, The Enigma, The Bombe: Cracking the Code to better Communication
  • 2nd Place: Maya Angelou: Communicating Through Prose and Poetry
  • 3rd Place: Stan Lee’s Superheroes: Fallible Comic Book Characters Connecting with Readers by Dealing with Real-Life Problems


  • 1st Place: Dorothea Lange: The Photographer of the New Deal
  • 2nd Place: I Have a Dream: High Hopes and High Notes

Junior Division – Grades 6 through 8

Group Documentary

  • 1st Place: Mahatma Gandhi: The Father of Nonviolence
  • 2nd Place: Behind Bars: Communication Among the Incarcerated Community
  • Alternate: War of the World Broadcast

Individual Documentary

  • 1st Place: Communicating the American Conscience
  • 2nd Place: Carrier Pigeons
  • Alternate: How Email Is the Spark of the Internet Revolution

Group Exhibit

  • 1st Place: The Pony Express: Communication Throughout History—From Little Hooves to Big Deliveries 
  • 2nd Place: The Black Panther Party: A Key in Understanding Racial Injustice 

Individual Exhibit 

  • 1st Place: Click: The Camera Never Lies
  • 2nd Place: Communication in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe: How Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Helped Children Find the Key to Understanding Their Emotions
  • Alternate: Jeanette Rankin: First Woman in Congress

Group Performance

  • 1st Place: How Dots and Dashes Changed History

Individual Performance

  • 1st Place: The Dr.’s Communication from the Pages of Children’s Books and Beyond
  • 2nd Place: The Cold War on Ice

Group Website

  • 1st Place: The 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade: Newspapers and the Parade for Liberty
  • 2nd Place: Mother Knows Best: How A Mother’s Letter to Her Son Led to Women’s Suffrage
  • Alternate: Communication in the Bombing of Pearl Harbor 

Individual Website

  • 1st Place: Charles Moore: Communicating Truth Through the Camera
  • 2nd Place: The Soundtrack of Genocide
  • Alternate: Anne Frank’s Diary: A Personal Diary Continues to Communicate Even After Seven Decades


  • 1st Place: Communication’s Roles in American Anti-German Sentiment During World War I
  • 2nd Place: Hickory Dickory Dock: The 1884 International Meridian Conference and its Influence on Time Zones
  • Alternate: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Milestone in History 

Senior – Grades 9 through 12

Group Documentary

  • 1st Place: Appeal for Amnesty: The Letter That Changed It All
  • 2nd Place: From D.C. to Saigon: The Consequences of Communication

Individual Documentary

  • 1st Place: A Bloody Draw: Three Communication Failures During the Maryland Campaign of September 1862
  • 2nd Place: The Pittsburgh Survey: A Communication of the Gilded Age
  • Alternate: Creoles of the World: The Bridge to Mutual Linguistic Understanding 

Group Exhibit

  • 1st Place: The Visual Propaganda of WWII
  • 2nd Place: The Art of Persuasion: How Americans Communicated Their Understanding of the Vietnam War
  • Alternate: Energy’s New Frontier: Electricity at the Chicago World’s Fair 

Individual Exhibit 

  • 1st Place: Vann Nath: The Paintings that Communicated the Inhumanity of Killing Fields, the Key to Understanding the Horrors Within the Cambodian Genocide
  • 2nd Place: Trail of Broken Treaties
  • Alternate: Code Girls: Communicating Change 

Individual Performance

  • 1st Place: At the Stand
  • 2nd Place: The Hello Girls: Connecting Lines for Communications and Enhancing Understanding

Group Website

  • 1st Place: Agent Garbo: A Tale of Deception
  • 2nd Place: Tuning In: How Radio Free Europe Communicated Through Cold War Propaganda
  • Alternate: Hearst and Pulitzer: Papers That Launched a Thousand Ships

Individual Website

  • 1st Place: James Baldwin: A Witness to Racial Misunderstanding
  • 2nd Place: The Nisei Linguists: Communicating to Build Bilateral Understanding
  • Alternate: Deaf President Now: A Message of Self Determination and Self Governance to the Hearing World


  • 1st Place: The Inadequate Communication of the Mormon-Missouri War of 1838
  • 2nd Place: Communication in the 1980 Olympic Boycott: A Fight for the Favor of the American Public
  • Alternate: Tunneling for Intelligence: Operation Gold, Soviet Half-Truths and a Flawed American Understanding

Special Awards

Best Entry in WWII, Jewish Heritage, or Holocaust History:

Sponsored by the Arizona Jewish Historical Society

  • The Diary’s Story

Best Holocaust History Entry:

Sponsored by the Phoenix Holocaust Association

  • Anne Frank’s Diary: A Personal Diary Continues to Communicate Even After Seven Decades

Babbitts Family Award – Best WWI Entry:

Sponsored by the Babbitts Family

  • The Hello Girls: Connecting Lines for Communications and Enhancing Understanding

Best Use of Archives:

Sponsored in part by the Arizona Archives Association 

  • Communication in the 1980 Olympic Boycott: A Fight for the Favor of the American Public
  • The Inadequate Communication of the Mormon-Missouri War of 1838

Equality in History Award:


  • The Black Panther Party: A Key in Understanding Racial Injustice


  • Silenced Voices: Confronting Native American Linguicide During the Boarding School Er

Best Women’s History Entry:


  • Hello Girls


  • Code Girls: Communicating Change 

Best Southwestern History Entry: 

Sponsored in part by the Northern Arizona Pioneers Historical Society

  • US Government Uranium Mining: Miscommunications That Threatened Navajo Cultural Identity
  • Reflecting the Sun: US Military Use of Heliographs

Best Military History Entry:


  • Communicating the American Consciousness


  • From D.C. to Saigon: The Consequences of Communication

National History Day Graphic Roadrunner Congratulations

Jaynie Adams
Curator of Education – Education Team Lead
National History Day Arizona Coordinator
Arizona History Museum, Tucson
Email  Jaynie

Arizona Historical Society