The Quantum To-Go program goal is to match scientists, engineers, and professionals in the field of Quantum Science, Engineering, and Technology with classrooms across the country to introduce the importance of quantum science and technologies and increase student...
QIS Key Concepts for Early Learners: K-12 Framework
High School Computer Science
Incorporating QIS into High School Computer Science
Because of recent advances in the production of quantum computers and their associated potential to revolutionize society, quantum computing has been the subject of increasing media attention. Quantum computing leverages quantum mechanical phenomena to perform computation in new ways. Therefore, the integration of QIS into CS courses is a promising potential avenue for introducing students to QIS concepts.
Many computer science courses focus on solving computational problems, and computer science exercises need contexts in which to apply students’ developing computational problem-solving skills. The challenge is finding appropriate CS exercises related to QIS that
- Involve computational solutions of the appropriate difficulty that require the skills already being taught in the course.
- Teach QIS concepts at an introductory level without requiring extensive math or physics skills.
The purpose of this document is to identify integrated activities that thread the needle between those two goals. We have identified several kinds of integrative activities:
- Example: The instructor using a QIS context as an example when introducing a CS topic. This does not require the students to complete an assignment; it is introduced by the instructor.
- Activity: Students engaging in an activity that has a relationship to QIS and CS but does not directly involve programming the computer.
- Design: Students create a language-inspecific design that could be used to create an implementation for a QIS-related concept, but for which a code-level implementation is not required. This could include designing storage (identifying variables and their types) or computation (identifying functions, their uses, and their interfaces).
- Implementation: Students write some code utilizing specific CS skills that implements something related to QIS.
- Investigation: Students perform an investigation that requires using or writing code that gives insight into something related to QIS.
There are limitations currently to integrating certain aspects of quantum information science. For example, programming for quantum computing is still in its infancy, and there exist fewer than a dozen algorithm kernels that can be applied to real-world problems. The topic of algorithms is not directly in the K-12 QIS Key Concepts for two reasons. First, there is not yet a method for taking the kernels and adapting them for different problem domains using a programming language. Second, the level of programming and QIS experience necessary to truly understand those algorithms is more than what would reasonably fit in high school. While one can gain an intuitive understanding of a few toy algorithms that are stepping stones to useful ones, programming a quantum computer is not part of the K-12 QIS Key Concepts, and thus we do not include this in the current framework document.
QIS K-12 Key Concepts Computer Science Focus Group
The purpose of the QIS K-12 Key Concepts CS Focus Group was to create a document that would be useful to curriculum developers and teachers, providing guidance about places where high school computer science learning goals can be satisfied at the same time as content in the QIS K-12 Key Concepts.
The focus group brought together 6 experts, educators familiar with teaching and research of computer science concepts at high school and/or university levels. The members were:
- *Diana Franklin, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
- Michael Rogers, King College Prep, Chicago, IL
- Daniel Rozanski, Pittsgrove School District, Pittsgrove, NJ
- Catherine Tabor, Canutillo ISD, El Paso, TX
- Tom Wong, Creighton University, Omaha, NE
- *Brent Yen, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
*Designates working group lead, convener, or editor.
The result is a set of activities that both teach computer science skills typically taught in high school as well as very early QIS concepts. These are not meant to be full activities or lesson plans – different instructors may use different languages, choose to go into different amounts of depth, etc. We hope, however, that by providing examples of synergistic activities, curriculum developers will be able to use these (and their own ideas) to create either individual activities or sequences of activities that build computer science skills and knowledge while, at the same time, introducing students to some basic QIS concepts. The link for the output is below.
We are releasing this first version for feedback from the community. Please reach out to us with your comments/questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOWNLOAD PDF DOCUMENT OF FRAMEWORK FOR QIS + CS
Resources and Tools
The resources in this repository are created and submitted by members of the quantum education community. We review them prior to posting and provide information on suitability for different audiences. We also note when teachers have either co-developed or reviewed the resource. Did we miss anything? Contact our team to let us know!
Textbook: Introduction to Classical and Quantum Computing
This resource is a textbook was used in an undergraduate course at Creighton University. It is based on lecture notes and homework problems from a course taught by Prof. Thomas Wong during 2018 and 2020. Some of the introductory material may be appropriate for AP High...
EPIQC informal activities for early ages
EPiQC is an NSF-funded quantum computing research program. As part of their education effort, experts in computer science education and early education have developed activities to introduce children and their families to quantum computing topics. The website of the...
Lecture notes: The Mathematics of Quantum Mechanics
The Mathematics of Quantum Mechanics is a set of notes aimed at high-school students, and provide the necessary mathematical background to dive into quantum information science. Through this three-chapter introduction, students will gain the necessary background in...
qBraid.com offers an online platform for learning about quantum information and programming on quantum computers. It is targeted at different levels, spanning high school, undergraduate. For example, non-quantum learners may visit qbook.qbraid.com/learn to access an...
This resource is an online self-guided set of essays about quantum computing, quantum mechanics, and other quantum topics. It is similar to an online textbook and includes some Q & A for the reader to help reinforce concepts. The authors describe the resource as...
EdX Course: Introduction to Quantum Computing for Everyone
This is an online course offered on EdX. It is an introduction to quantum computing aimed at novices and requires learners to have an understanding of basic algebra. The course covers the future impacts of quantum computing, provides intuitive introductions of quantum...
Lesson Modules by the Institute for Quantum Computing
The University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) has created five lesson plans for senior (12th grade) high-school Physics classes, including introductions to superposition, wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, quantum computing, and...
Quantum Computing Zines
Zines are short, comic-book-style pamphlets that fit on an 8.5”x11” piece of paper and intended for general non-expert, informal learners. The zines cover a number of quantum computing topics ranging from superposition to quantum notation. These begin with analogies...
EdX Course: Quantum Mechanics for Everyone
This is a quantum mechanics (physics) course aimed at non-scientists and is intended to be accessible to high school level students and above who have studied Algebra II and Trigonometry. It introduces the concepts of superposition and entanglement, as well as others....