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Wikimedia+Education Conference 2019/Submissions/Teaching Earth sciences with Wikimedia projects. Experiences from Northern Patagonia, Argentina

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Submission no.
Title of the submission
Teaching Earth sciences with Wikimedia projects. Experiences from Northern Patagonia, Argentina

Author(s) of the submission

Fernando M. Archuby (Fernando Archuby)

Marien Béguelin (KehDon)

E-mail address


Country/place of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Universidad Nacional de Río Negro

Main theme
How do we make it happen?
Type of session
Teachers, University, sciences.
Length of session
20 minutes.
Do you want to submit a paper for peer-reviewing?


The aim of this contribution is to share experiences about the use of Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikispecies as tools to teach palaeontology to university students in the first semester of the second year of geology and paleontology. The experience was developed in the National University of Río Negro, northern Patagonia. This region stands out due to its outcrops of highest geological and paleontological interest. Students, however, have little access to technology and a poor science background.
In 2015 Patricio Lorente, former Head of the Wikimedia Foundation Board visited us and offered a talk on Wikimedia and its different projects. In 2016, Anna Torres Adell and Luisina Ferrante, respectively Head and Education responsible of Wikimedia Argentina, gave a course of edition and use of Wikimedia for educational purposes. During 2017 and 2018 we used Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikispecies projects to teach General Paleontology at University level. Teaching activities were design into steps with increasing complexity with a final assignment that consisted in editing Wikipedia and Wikispecies and adding images to Wikimedia Commons.

Our results in articles:

Geological units:

- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formación_Roca
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formación_Jagüel
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grupo_Malargüe
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formación_Agrio

Fossil species (many of them also added to Wikispecies):

- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatodon_securis
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pholadomya_gigantea
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclastes_meridionalis
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pterotrigonia_coihiucoensis
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eriphyla_argentina
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptychomya_koeneni
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steinmanella_vacaensis
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutitrigonia_agrioensis
- (and many more)

Institutions (just beginning with this project):

- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museo_Estación_Cultural_Lucinda_Larrosa
- https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laguna_El_Juncal

Final remarks

The results indicate that the teaching strategy is successful in creating excellent conditions for teachers and students to work together with enthusiasm. This is most probably related to the usefulness of the collective effort: our work, based on local examples, is now available to millions of people.
How does your proposal add knowledge to the international community in Wikimedia and education?
  1. We have developed a successful experience using Wikimedia to teach Earth sciences. It is possible and fruitful, even in a not favourable environment (restrictions to access to technology and a poor science background of students).
  2. Our strategy worked. Since that, the design of the activity might be useful to replicate in similar courses.
  3. We have evaluated the activity quantitatively in two ways: a survey to students before and after the experience and the evaluation of visits to the articles. The results are positive, although not conclusive (we need more data).
  4. We are eager to share our experience and receive advice of specialists on education on how to improve its design.
  5. We are very interested in other experiences of similar characteristics and eventually in promote a wider project to evaluate this teaching strategy.
Who is the intended ideal audience for the topic?

Teachers of scientific subjects.

Wikipedians interested in disseminate scientific knowledge.

Slides or further information
Special requests
Projector and internet connection. Abundant seafood and beer ;)

Interested attendees[edit]

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest.

  1. --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:30, 22 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  2. ...