Education/Newsletter/March 2017/An experience with middle school students in Ankara

An experience with middle school students in Ankara


By Basak

Here is the story of 80 students from a village school of Ayaş district of Ankara who have contributed to Turkish wikipedia articles about woman in science, technology and sports. Actually, this was not parf of an Education Program organized in an education instutition but an Art+Feminism event in Ankara organized with quite large and very unsual attendance.

Girls look mesmerized

The students from Ayas town were brought to Ankara's Downtown to participate at the edit-a-thon on Women's Day. Two wikipedians Yagmur and Pragdon were present to help them. Yagmur and Pragdon were very excited since they didn't have experience to work with such young group. Their excitement have turned into worry when they have found out that most of the participants didn't have neither computers or internet connection at home and to make it worst, some had told that they have not even visited Wikipedia before! However, everybody in the group knew how to make search on Google so the training have started by showing the Wikipedia snippets appearing in Google search results.

After the presentation about Wikipedia, the students have started to work in groups. They already have searched their subject and brought their notes, now they had to enter them to Wikipedia. It was very surprising to see how in a few hours some students have even discovered the translation tool and trying to translate articles from English to Turkish! The program included a surprise, Duygu Kayaman, a young innovator and one of the woman profiles they have created on the Wikipedia have visited them!. This caused a big excitement.

It was intersting to recognize that many hours after the event ends, some participants kept working on the articles using mobile devices. Some profiles they have worked on included Hertha Ayrton, Maria Teresa Ruiz, Alice Alldredge. Expectedly, our young editors could mostly add not more than 3-4 sentences about their subjects during the event but in a few days other editors have developed those articles.

Although this event was not part of a Wikipedia Education Program, it was an experience which encouraged the community members to initiate the program in the future not only at higher education instutions but also at middle schools. We owe thanks to every participant for their enthusiasm.

Tags:Ankara, Wikipedia, Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey, Gender Gap