Inspiring students about Poland’s great computing heritage

Behind every computing breakthrough, there’s a story of the people who made it happen. Earlier this month, the spotlight shone on Poland’s computer pioneers with the launch of the educational project “XYZ — The history of computing in Poland”.

Led by the Center for Citizenship Education in collaboration with Google, the project seeks to raise awareness of Poland’s computing heroes among young people, as well as use them to illustrate the value of virtues such as ingenuity, curiosity and cooperation.

Materials produced so far include a timline, online videos, and posters highlighting key Poles and their achievements — from Abraham Stern’s mechanical calculators in the early 19th century, to Leon Lukaszewicz’s XYZ computer in 1958, to the team who built the K-202, Poland’s first computer with integrated circuits, in the 1970s. Coming soon are lesson plans and contests to make it easier for Polish educators to use these stories of local innovators to inspire their students.

The project was launched in fitting style at the University of Warsaw, where young innovators showcased their own work surrounded by posters of Polish computing heroes to dignitaries including Vint Cerf, one of the “fathers” of the Internet.

Students meet "Father of the Internet" Vint Cerf
We’re proud to support this initiative and hope it helps inspire the next generation of Polish computer scientists to similarly great heights.