Quantum Explorer: Achieving Quantum Readiness through Inquiry and Design Powered by Interactive Simulations Based on First Principles

The call for quantum education at grassroots level by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) poses a challenge to educators, as quantum mechanics—the foundation of quantum information science and technology—is difficult to understand. The need to cultivate a qualified workforce for the upcoming quantum revolution doubles down on the challenge, as it demands also teaching practical applications to raise career awareness and readiness.

Traditional approaches of teaching quantum science rely heavily on mathematical formalism, which may be prohibitively difficult to most high school students. With the capability of making otherwise obscure quantum phenomena visible and manipulable, interactive simulations promise alternatives to bypass the high math barrier. IFI has launched a systematic research and development effort to make inquiry and design, which are core science and engineering practices mandated by many education standards, more accessible and compelling in quantum science through extensive use of interactive simulations, broadening thereby student participation in quantum education.

The Quantum Explorer, a platform for studying quantum dynamics, is an interactive simulation platform that IFI is developing to push this envelope.