SPRING HILL — World history honors and Advanced Placement European history teacher Suzanne Miranda cannot remember Springstead High School students ever doing better at the Florida State History Fair.
Eight students doing four projects won either first or second place at the state level, taking four of the 10 slots Florida was allotted for the upcoming National History Fair competition. The students were invited to enter any of several categories: historical paper, documentary, performance, exhibit or website. They could enter in groups or as individuals. This year's theme was "Revolution, Reaction and Reform in History."
Juniors Jonas Gonzalez, 16, Mikey Bennett, 17, and Alexander Franklin, 18, earned a first place at state with "The Titans Awake: Rise of American Corporations" in the group website category. Their project, they explained, is about how large-scale business came to be, because of technology and a pro-business position by the government.
Their time period is from about 1860 to 1914.
"We relate it to modern corporations," Alexander said.
Last year, the students did an exhibit together and came in fourth.
"We switched from exhibits," Alexander said, "because everything that could go wrong went wrong."
Freshmen Sabrina Impreso, 15, and Chandler Griffin, 14, took second place in the same category with "A Bloodless Revolution: 1986 Philippines People's Revolution." The two had worked together when they were eighth-graders at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics, earning sixth place. Sabrina did an individual project in seventh grade.
This year, Sabrina said, "We're trying to show that the Philippines peoples' power was a bloodless revolution to overthrow the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos."
The two are excited about the trip they will make to the University of Maryland, June 10-14, for the national competition. "It's kind of a big thing for us because we're freshman," Sabrina said.
Sophomores Nina Morales, 15, and Sarina Singh, 15, won second place at state in the group documentary category with "The Rite of Spring." Both students chose a topic of interest to them; both are accomplished violinists.
Their project, Sarina explained, was meant to show how Igor Stravinsky's piece dramatically altered classical music from the norm in 1913.
"Classical music before was so beautiful and appealing to the center," Sarina said. "This was inelegant and ungraceful."
"It was created to sound discordant," Nina said. "It caused a ruckus among the crowd. It was a big deal."
Sophomore Nicole Cannon, 16, entered the fair as an individual, writing a historical paper, "Theatre of the Absurd: A Revolution in Drama." The time period was post-World War II 1950s.
"I am a theater student, and I felt like the arts really get neglected as an academic topic," she said, adding that she wanted to bring art to the forefront and show it has an impact on modern society.
Nicole won a sixth place last year with her paper about the women's suffrage. That encouraged her to try again.
"This time I got first, and that was quite exciting," she said.
Three students received a sixth place in group exhibits: sophomores Alivia Duncan, 16; Monica Surrena, 16, and Ashley Principe, 16, for "The Technological Revolution During the Age of Discovery."
The students also were supported by U.S. history teacher John Imhof, U.S. history and American government teacher Eric Swensen, world history honors teacher Bea Morgan and media specialist Kathleen Hicks.