Weather & Outdoor Activities
The Hoover Dam was built in Black Canyon, a short distance from Boulder City, Nevada. According to U.S. Climate Data, the average temperature in July in Boulder City is 99 degrees! Yes, you read that correctly. Consequently, participants should expect physical activity on a daily basis, occasionally in very hot conditions.
During the dam’s construction, journalists, engineers, and laborers alike describe the heat as suffocating and relentless. Edmund Wilson remarked in a 1931 New Republic article that, “Even the government engineers who were the pioneers at Black Canyon describe it as ‘Hells Hole’ where you get ‘goofy with heat.’” Wilson goes on to describe the canyon walls as “cinders which never cool off: they might still be smoldering from the volcanic disturbance which has left the whole landscape an infernal desert. You can’t touch them without getting scorched and the very winds that blow through them are furnace breaths. The temperature in summer is often 123 in the shade.”
Erma Gobdey, who lived near the damsite and whose husband worked on the dam, is quoted in the book Building Hoover Dam: An Oral History Of The Great Depression (2001) as saying, “It was terrifically hot. My God, it was terribly hot and
dusty… It would get to be 120 by nine in the morning, and it wouldn’t get to be below 120 before nine at night…I would wrap my babies in wet sheets just so they could sleep.”
It is safe to say that it will be extremely hot. We will also be doing quite a bit of walking, from architecture tours, to tours of the dam, to an all-day excursion to Lake Mead. You should expect moderate physical activity each day in very hot and dry conditions. We will make every effort to ensure that participants are well hydrated and to avoid strenuous activities in the hottest parts of the day, but you should be prepared to be outside in the Mojave Desert in the summertime. We highly recommend hats with wide brims, sunglasses, sun screen, clothing that is cool yet shields you from the sun, and comfortable walking shoes.
Expectations of Participants: NEH summer scholars should come ready for an intensive and rigorous program of study. We seek to provide a collaborative and friendly environment where teachers can grow and learn from the experience as well as from each other. We will treat you like the dedicated professionals you are, and we ask that you treat each other the same.
Stipend: Educators selected to participate as NEH Summer Scholars will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential workshop session. Please see the housing page, and the application page for more information about the stipend.
End of Workshop Presentations: At the end of the workshop, participants will be expected to share with the group their reflections on the week, as well as the lesson plan and curricular integration strategies they’ve developed in order to aid fellow educators in augmenting their own curriculum design.
Evaluations: Summer scholars will be expected to fill out anonymous evaluations of the workshop at three different stages: 1) after individual sessions using feedback forms designed for each day’s activities so that staff may make adjustments to the schedule, pace, and activities for subsequent days; 2) at the conclusion of the workshop using the online NEH evaluation form and a separate survey to indicate overall satisfaction and impact of the workshop; 3) six months after the workshop using an electronic survey to gather information about how educators have implemented workshop materials and topics into their curriculum.
Continuing Education and Graduate Credits
Continuing Education credits/units: Upon successful completion, summer scholars will be provided documentation in the form of a letter describing the workshop and number of hours along with a syllabus and a certificate stating that they have completed the workshop. Participants may use the documents to apply for continuing education credits in their own school districts. Summer scholars should check with their local school district or school principal for the processes and policies governing CE credit.
Graduate credits: Summer scholars also have the option of receiving graduate credit through the Department of History at UNLV. To receive graduate credit summer scholars will be required to complete an additional project or academic paper, which will be reviewed by History faculty at UNLV.
Principles of Civility
NEH encourages an ethos of openness and respect, upholding the basic norms of civil discourse. For more information, please go to the NEH’s Principles of Civility information page. NEH welcomes comments, concerns, or suggestions on these principles at email@example.com
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website or at this workshop do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.