NSF Invests in Quantum Education Effort

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is investing in introducing quantum information science (QIS) into K-12 schools, awarding a $750,000 award to an Illinois-based organization that is looking to spread quantum-related curricula.

The award recipient is Q2Work, led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Emily Edwards, the managing director of the Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology (IQUIST) Center and the University of Chicago’s Diana Franklin, an associate professor in computer science. The program “provides support for the QIS education ecosystem through digital tools, outreach and collaborative workshops,” according to its website.

“Quantum information science is a critical industry of the future where America must lead the world, and yet students don’t typically learn about QIS until college,” said U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios, who recently became the Pentagon’s research chief, in a statement.

President Trump signed the National Quantum Initiative Act into law in December of 2018. The law requires that NSF award grants to establish Multidisciplinary Centers for Quantum Research and Education to support curriculum and workforce development in QIS and engineering. University of Chicago and the Department of Energy recently unveiled a report to develop a national quantum internet.

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