In 2016, the Wiki Education Foundation will be working to get comprehensive — and comprehensible — science information into the screens and pockets of millions of readers by improving Wikipedia articles in the sciences. Along the way, we’ll challenge university students across the United States and Canada to share their knowledge of science with millions of readers.
The Year of Science is a collective effort. We’re calling on experienced Wikipedia editors, and new ones. We’re calling on experienced science professors, Ph.D. candidates, and undergraduates. We’re calling on librarians. We’re calling on instructors from every university and college in the United States and Canada, in every science-related subject.
Improving Wikipedia as a resource is our top priority. As a globally accessible free knowledge resource, there’s nothing else like it. We’re asking all of you to help us make the Year of Science a powerful opportunity to empower student learning through Wikipedia.
There are rewards beyond the public service of educating millions.
Instructors, across disciplines, will have an innovative and inspiring classroom assignment that challenges students to do their best work, knowing that it will be seen by many more than just their own instructor. We’ve already seen some spectacular results in fields such as chemistry, ecology, animal behavior, environmental history, geotectonics, archaeology, and even the geography of terrestrial planets.
Students develop research, communication, and media literacy skills. They find and evaluate sources, synthesize information, and work to communicate that learning to others beyond the walls of their classroom.
Librarians can tap Wikipedia to teach research skills, or sponsor a Visiting Scholar. Libraries see greater visibility for their public collections, a core part of their educational mission. By sharing these resources with experienced Wikipedians, they’ll improve public scholarship and provide greater access to the knowledge they have on site.
We’ll be helping students write biographical articles about women scientists that inspire them, or will. By closing Wikipedia’s gender gap, these articles will raise awareness of women’s contributions to science for the next generation of scholars.
We’re starting the year with better tools, better training resources, and a new portal for Wikipedia editors to rally around science events and ideas.
Students will see themselves as contributors to public knowledge of science, and we’ll all see better content across Wikipedia.
We’re grateful to Google and the Simons Foundation for providing major support for the Year of Science 2016.
I’m excited to see what students learn and contribute. Find out how you can join us — contact us through our Year of Science page.
Photo: “StFX Physical Sciences Lab” by StFX – StFX. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons.
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