National History Day Arizona (NHDAZ) is a signature program of the Arizona Historical Society. Developed for middle and high school students, National History Day Arizona makes history come alive by engaging students in the discovery of historical, cultural, scientific, and social experiences of the past. Through in-depth research, project-based learning, hands-on experiences, and presentations; Arizona students become better prepared to inform the present and shape the future. NHDAZ inspires teachers and students through challenging classroom activities, after school clubs, weekend workshops, and exciting competitions transforming history education and instruction.
3. Fill out and return these forms no later than one week before your event. Email forms to: [email protected]
*** NOTE: In the SUBJECT LINE please enter NHDAZ Judge & the EVENT DATE
4. Once you have completed and sent in the forms to [email protected], go to register.nhd.org/contests to sign up for your desired contest.
When many people think about Arizona, the first thing that comes to mind is Arizona as a frontier place–cowboys, settlers, miners, and sometimes (poorly
Henry Flipper, the first Black graduate from West Point and a land surveyor in Arizona.
portrayed) Indigenous and Mexican peoples. That’s just one way of looking at it! Frontiers can be physical or imagined boundaries between communities or nations, the limit of knowledge or achievement, or the edge of massive change. It’s all down to how YOU define it!
The stories of the Wild West have been told so many times it can be hard to separate fact from fiction from interpretation–but how can we find new ways of looking at the same stories? When thinking about Arizona and frontiers, there are some questions to consider: When did Arizona become a frontier? How many frontiers are there in Arizona? Is Arizona still a frontier place? Who is a pioneer? How are frontiers created, crossed, or rebuilt? For example, what role did white women settling in Arizona play in taming the Wild West? Were they crossing the frontier of gender and sexuality, or were they using established gender roles or even white supremacy to their advantage? Buffalo Soldiers were sent to Arizona to speed up the closing of the frontier and end the American Indian Wars, but did those Black soldiers open a new frontier for themselves? Does infamous “lawman” Wyatt Earp actually represent the end of Arizona’s Wild West days?
Negotiations following the final surrender of Geronimo, which ended the Indian Wars and “closed” Arizona’s frontier
If you are interested in geographical frontiers, you might consider looking at missions and presidios, the US-Mexico border, or the borders between Native Nations. How are the geographical borders also political or religious borders? How did people cross them, and what happened next? Could people find ways across social frontiers to work together, like Chinese laborers finding safety and security in Mexican neighborhoods?
If science is more your thing, did you know Pluto was discovered in Arizona? How did that discovery push the frontiers of science, and how has accumulated knowledge since then changed the borders between planet and something else? How do people live in a dry, hot climate like Arizona? You could consider how Indigenous people like the Hohokam worked with, not against, natural barriers and irrigated their fields. You could explore the arcology (architecture + ecology) of futuristic sites like Arcosanti and the Biosphere. Technological advances like the railroad and air conditioning made Arizona more habitable, but more habitable for whom? Who is left out of the future?
Have questions about finding local resources for your NHD project, or just need advice on how to start? Email us at [email protected]!
Chinese-Mexican refugees seeking aslyum in the US. How does Sinophobia create a new frontier in Arizona?