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Jacksonville high schooler’s quirky history lesson videos go viral, recognized by TIME Magazine

Instead of using TikTok to record up to 15 seconds of the latest meme, dance or trend, Brooke Pavek recorded reenactments of historical events, usually with song.
Credit: TikTok
Brooke Pavoc, 17, a student in Jacksonville, Fla., makes history with the app TikTok.

A student at Paxon School for Advanced Studies was recognized by TIME for her innovative way of studying for her history exams: through a social media app called "TikTok."

Brooke Pavek, 17, turned to TikTok as a way to help her remember terms and events taught in her Advanced United States History Exam.

"I wanted ways to memorize terms that I really didn't understand, I didn't feel like I was going to memorize them if I didn't have a way to remember them," she said in a Duval County Public Schools news release.

Instead of using the app to record up to 15 seconds of the latest meme, dance, or the latest fad -- primarily what TikTok is used for -- Pavek recorded her reenactment of historical events, usually accompanied by song.

“It’s so much fun if you can put it with a song and make it fun versus just sitting there with a lecture and boring boards and stuff," Pavek told DCPS. "So it’s made more kids like history and I love that because I’m passionate about history and being able to share that passion with more people."

And the people were passionate for Pavek's videos.

To date, she has more than 90,000 followers and nearly four million hearts. Several of her videos were featured in this viral Twitter thread and even gained the attention of staff members at TIME magazine. She was featured in a Nov. 8 article titled, "Teens Are Going Viral With Theatrical History Lessons on TikTok. These History Educators Are Thrilled."

“It’s kind of out of my mind, I can’t believe it happened," she told DCPS. "I started out in March and got no likes for like two-to-three weeks. I was going to quit and thought this would never be a thing."

She said one of her most popular videos is on The League of Nations.

Now a senior, Pavek told DCPS that she plans to continue making these videos so she can help other students.

She said she plans to become a history teacher one day.