Facebook icon YouTube icon Pinterest icon RSS icon Flickr icon

About The Arizona Experience

Welcome to the Arizona Experience, an online reference established to commemorate 100 years of statehood. Each page on the Arizona Experience engages the user with a multimedia-rich showcase of the people, places, and events that defined our past and are shaping our future. This free resource is available to anyone, anytime, with special features for students, educators, and travelers.

You've Never Seen Arizona Like This

Thousands of multimedia assets—including current and historic photographs, audio and video samples, extensive mapping functions and interactive timelines—engross users of all ages. Materials from archives, museums, and special collections appear in interactive features designed especially for the site.  Over a dozen interactive maps, custom built or featured courtesy of state agencies such as Arizona Game and Fish, bring hands-on geographical and spatial guidance to a spectrum of subjects. Timelines, games, audio and video files, and location-based tours provide a fun, fresh way to access knowledge.

For example, you can visit Arizona’s iconic landscapes, listen to the oral histories of descendants of early explorers, settlers, and miners, or discover how our leading innovations in biotechnology, alternative energy, and high-tech products are creating a promising tomorrow.

Site Design

Arizona Centennial logoThe Arizona Experience arranges information by subject. The design is inspired by museum exhibitions that group artifacts to tell a story, providing points of reference so visitors can glimpse the scope of a subject while creating context that allows for detailed study. Content on the Arizona Experience is organized according to twelve themes, each representing a field of key importance to the story of Arizona. Explore these themes using the twelve theme links located at the top of the home page.

Each page within a theme is divided according to the broad categories of Land, People, Remember, or Innovate. Users wanting a more general approach to content can navigate via these categories to find content from all themes. The Teachers button takes users to the Teachers' Center, which helps educators find material to use in and out of the classroom. The search feature at the top of the home page can locate a specific subject.

The homepage displays the latest articles added to the site. Site highlights, appearing on the right side of the screen underneath the Navigation bar, feature a tabbed menu that displays the popular Recreation and Cultural Sites map, a listing of statewide events courtesy of Arizona Highways, and the blog from the Arizona SciTech Festival, one of the nation’s largest science and technology events.

You can begin exploring and searching Arizona Experience directly from the home page. From here you can:

  • Search for a specific topic with the search box in the top right corner;
  • Click the "Media Index" tab to find a comprehensive index of the videos;
  • Browse entries by theme or category;
  • Browse maps

You can navigate Arizona Experience on all computers with current browsers.  If you have trouble, please be sure you have installed the most up-to-date browser software supported by your computer.

Arizona Experience in the Classroom

Educational resources for the classroom and at home are at your fingertips. Use the Teachers’ Center to find materials and activities that supplement classroom lessons with interactive web content.  The Student Resources page offers a list of maps, timelines, games and videos that can be worked into a lesson or can give students a chance to learn on their own.

Lesson plans approved by the Arizona Department of Education are located throughout the site. Find a listing of these at the Teachers Center, as well as videos on opportunities for Arizona teachers to engage their students with learning outside the classroom.

Materials are compiled in cooperation with the Arizona STEM Network, education specialists at the State Universities, the Arizona Department of Education, and other collaborators. These materials supplement STEM education curricula and promote technical competency through exploration of Arizona’s history, culture, and geography.

Resources for Travelers

The Arizona Experience is proud to feature the Recreation and Cultural Sites map, built in collaboration with the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) and the Arizona Council for Enhancing Recreation & Tourism (ACERT). This customizable interactive map lets you search for specific activities on more than 425 recreational, cultural and historic sites statewide.  Over fifteen additional interactive maps pinpoint areas of special interest.

A selection of museums, historic sites, parks and other attractions are highlighted throughout the site. In addition, the Sports and Recreation theme hosts articles and videos on a range of outdoor activities from swimming to treasure hunting. A page on Arizona Parks reveals the state’s geologic and archaeologic treasures.

Work in Progress

The Arizona Experience is a work in progress. The version that you now see was launched on February 14, 2012—the day Arizona celebrated its Centennial. Content is developing throughout the Centennial year, and currently displays over a dozen maps and access to one thousand images. A number of the entries are still under development. The goal is to create a permanent digital resource that continues to grow in subsequent years and provides engaging material for K-12 educators, in-state and out-of-state travelers, and the just plain curious.

The Centennial Commission

Arizona Centennial logo

Originally developed by the Arizona Centennial Commission and the Arizona Historical Society, The Arizona Experience is a sanctioned component of Arizona’s centennial celebration. The Centennial Commission was created to execute a comprehensive plan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Arizona’s statehood and to coordinate national, regional, state, and local observances of the Centennial. 

Commission members are committed to bringing Arizonans together to fulfill the Centennial vision—"to appreciate our state’s rich past, celebrate the present, and together, create a vibrant and sustainable future." Commemorating 100 years of statehood, The Arizona Experience will leave a lasting legacy of this vision and provide a permanent exploration and learning opportunity.

The Arizona Geological Survey

The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) took on the task to expand the site in partnership with the Centennial Commission. The AZGS acts as the primary source of geologic information in the state to enhance public understanding of the state’s geologic character, geologic hazards, and mineral resources. Emerging as a nationally recognized leader in digital technology, the AZGS utilizes the latest interactive media features to create a truly dynamic online exploration portal. The Survey’s embrace of new technology, in-depth knowledge of Arizona’s land, and close collaboration with the state’s universities enabled it to excel in the elaborate task of building an Arizona experience worthy of the occasion.

About the Icons

Celebrates – Find out how communities around the state are celebrating the Centennial as well as other long standing community events. 

Mining & Minerals – Arizona is the nation’s largest copper producing state. Learn about how mineral exploration has shaped our past and is shaping our future.

Biotech & Life Sciences – Arizona is home to some of the world’s leading bioscience research institutions. Discover how the plant and animal life of the state has impacted our world.

Sports & Recreation – You can’t experience Arizona without outdoor entertainment like spring training, hiking, biking and golfing. 

EnergyEnergy – Just like its people, Arizona has a diverse energy profile. Learn about the current use and potential of various energy sources.

WaterWater – An essential element regardless of location but even more so in the desert.

Technology & AerospaceTechnology & Aerospace – Learn how the aerospace industry shapes Arizona, from the airplane graveyards to some of the most advanced industries in the world.

People & Culture – Arizona’s people are incredibly diverse. Join us as we celebrate this diversity.

 Ranching & Agriculture – From cotton to cowboys Arizona is known for its iconic ranching and agriculture.  

Native American CultureNative American Culture – Celebrate the more than twenty Native American cultures that call Arizona home.

Astronomy – Arizona is the astronomy capital of the contiguous United States, learn how this industry is shaping our future.

21st Century Workforce – Take a peek at Arizona’s 21st Century Workforce.

Best of – Celebrate the best of the Arizona Centennial Year.