High school science teachers in British Columbia (BC) have a new tool to help them teach quantum computing concepts to their students this fall.

The new course, hosted on EDx, was developed by UBC’s Geering Up Engineering Outreach program and Quantum BC’s Diversifying Talent in Quantum Computing initiative. It builds on existing science curricula and offers the tools and exercises for teachers to apply quantum computing lessons that align with BC’s prescribed learning outcomes.

The self-directed course launches on August 12, and will take six to 10 hours to complete.

“The course puts a quantum lens on BC’s science curriculum,” said Ella Meyer, Quantum Computing Outreach Coordinator at the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute. “We were committed to minimizing any additional work: this program simply adds a quantum context to BC’s physics and chemistry curriculum.”

Diagram of a double slit experiment showing light diffraction

Pictured: a diagram illustrating a double-slit experiment. Image source: Shutterstock.

The exercises that teachers will learn will be easy to adapt to their classrooms, at low or no cost.

“We thought a lot about how to make this work for a variety of schools, including those in rural areas that might not have access to expensive equipment and software,” said Meyer. “The exercises include things like double-slit experiments that help students understand the physics of light: these types of experiments can be done using simple tools that can be ordered inexpensively online, or even found at local dollar stores.”

The goal of the training program is to make quantum science accessible and fun. The course was co-developed by CREATE Program in Quantum Computing student Ana Ciocoiu, whose expertise informed the content of the course. Reid Patterson, Senior Outreach Facilitator with UBC Geering Up, contributed his expertise in teacher education in adapting the content to the EDx platform.

Programs such as this EDx course aim to close the “understanding gap” between academic and industry professionals and the broader public, who may not have access to the tools to learn about quantum science and technology.

For more information, or to register for the course, visit www.edx.org/course/quantum-computing-for-your-classroom-10-12.