The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and over a dozen top U.S. industry and academic leaders launched the National Q-12 Education Partnership, a new initiative to expand access to K-12 quantum information science (QIS) education.
As part of today’s announcement, NSF is awarding nearly $1 million to QIS education efforts, including the establishment of the Q2Work Program to support quantum education workforce development across the country. Private sector and academic leaders are committing to develop and provide educational programs, tools, training opportunities, and curricula that help introduce QIS themes at the middle school and high school levels.
“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. Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States has prioritized quantum research and development, and now we will be among the first in the world to make QIS education tools and resources available to K-12 students and educators nationwide. Through strong public and private sector commitment, we look forward to advancing our Nation’s workforce and leadership in this key emerging technology,” said Michael Kratsios, U.S. Chief Technology Officer.
A quantum future will require a trained quantum workforce, according to NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan.
“In the coming decades, quantum systems are poised to drive our nation’s industrial base, economic strength and national security,” said Panchanathan. “Achieving that vision requires a workforce educated and trained in quantum information science and engineering. Through close collaboration with academia, industry, and partner agencies, the National Q-12 Education Partnership will increase the technical literacy of students, expanding inclusion and broadening participation for a future workforce that will bring benefits to all of us.”
Zapata Computing, developers of quantum software and algorithms for the enterprise, is one of the founding members of the National Q-12 Education Partnership program aimed at allowing the expansion of key quantum concepts for K-12 education, according to Christopher Savoie, CEO and founder, Zapata.
“Currently, the education necessary for developing qualified talent to help identify the next opportunities for applying and advancing quantum computing exist mainly at the collegiate level,” said Savoie. “This Q2Work Program is a much needed, progressive initiative because it’s aimed at sparking quantum passion much earlier in a child’s education through early exposure to all of the wonders and possibilities of quantum computing.”
The National Q-12 Education Partnership builds upon efforts spearheaded by OSTP and NSF to develop nine key QIS concepts that can be introduced to and adapted for computer science, mathematics, physics, and chemistry courses throughout middle and high schools.
Founding Members of the National Q-12 Education Partnership
- Amazon Web Services
- American Physical Society
- SPIE – The International Society for Optics and Photonics
- Lockheed Martin
- Montana Instruments
- OSA—The Optical Society
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- University of Chicago
- Zapata Computing
Visit q12education.org to learn more about the initiative.