Education/News/May 2021/Featured education community member of May 2021

Author: Klara Sielicka-Baryłka

Summary: Starting November 2019, we are highlighting a Wikimedian who is impacting or who has been impacted by Wikimedia & Education work. For May 2021, in this article, meet Maria Weronika Kmoch from Poland and learn from her experience as a local organizer of the Wikipedia Education Programs in Schools and universities.

This month let's meet Maria Weronika Kmoch!

Maria is a teacher of history, and society at the unpublic high school under the patronage of Maharaja Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja (in pl: Jam Saheb Digvijay Sinhja) in Warsaw. She is also a researcher and popularizer of regional history, an activist of scientific and regional organizations, a social archivist, blogger. She has also written two books.

Along with many hats that Maria holds, She is also a Wikipedia editor. In 2020, with the support of Wikimedia Polska, and being completely newbie, she ran a Wikipedia project with high school students, the result of which was the creation or expansion of several dozen women's biographies on Wikipedia. This year she decided to continue her work with students, and now they all work on the 2nd edition outcomes.

She has already started planning another project with Wikimedia Polska; this project is to be associated with the region in Poland she comes from and people from this area (Kurpie) and will use the know-how of Ethno-wiki projects carried out so far by Polish wikipedists (1, 2).

When she was asked by the staff of Wikimedia Poland: What do you think about the Wiki-school project and about Wikipedia in the school context?, she replied as follows:

"Creating stories, verifying information sources, cooperation and support of more experienced people, as well as a common goal ― these are important values and skills provided by the Wiki School program. In a world full of divisions, polarization, and the ubiquitous narrative about how evil today's youth is and that they cannot use the Internet wisely, Wikipedia-based projects show that not only can it be, but it is quite the opposite!"