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Review: Teaching Quantum Technology Workshop at IQC

Shawn Brooks, Contest Manager, Teacher at University of Toronto Schools


Martin Laforest (Senior Manager of Scientific Outreach at the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo) trying to explain something to me. I’m the one on the right.

I attended the Teaching Quantum Technology (TQT) workshop on Dec. 5th and 6th and left with 12 activities that I could use right away in my classes. Now, the challenge for me is: how can I fit these activities into my grade 11 or grade 12 physics courses?

The workshop was similar to the workshops for teachers that the Perimeter Institute has run. (The Perimeter Institute is also in Waterloo, Ontario.) Accommodations were covered for the participants and so were most of the other expenses — a big plus.

By 11:00 am on the first day — only two hours in — my mind was already full. I felt that attending the TQT workshop was already a worthwhile experience, despite the two hours it took me to drive to Waterloo.

I had a revelation about quantum entanglement!

Martin Laforest was able to explain entanglement in a way that helped me to grasp a piece of that puzzle that I had always failed to understand. It was a strangely thrilling experience for me, in a weird — science — way.

I don’t yet have a plan to use the 12 activities in my classes, but I know that I need to become more comfortable teaching quantum-related ideas. They come up in class, inevitably; for example, when teaching the double-slit experiment.

The workshop I attended was their first one specifically intended for high school teachers. The Institute for Quantum Computing is planning on running another workshop for teachers in 2016. If quantum weirdness befuddles you, I can’t think of a better way to learn more. Martin Laforest was tireless in helping me, and answering questions.

If you go to only one Quantum Workshop this year… make it the “Teaching Quantum Technology” Workshop!
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