In a previous blog post we wrote about how Quantum Composer, our simulation tool can be used in a university classroom and also for research. At ScienceAtHome we are also highly interested in the education of younger students. We have developed some great tools to introduce them to quantum mechanics for the first time and assist their first steps towards science-related education.
Jacob Sherson and Louise Kindt recently held a 2-day workshop for a Danish talent programme called ATU (Akademiet for Talentfulde Unge - Academy for Talented Youth). It’s a 2-year program that high school students can optionally choose besides their studies and attend a special workshop once a month. These workshops vary each time: once it might be about the procedure of lawmaking and the next time quantum physics. The participating students like learning just for the pleasure of gaining new knowledge. They are very interested to hear about different fields of study and eager to explore. This program can help them discover what area they would be interested enough to pursue as their future career.
ScienceAtHome was honored to have the opportunity to meet these young talents and tell them about how Citizen science can help research within diverse fields such as cognitive science, quantum physics and problem-solving. Our group leader, Jacob Sherson took the main lead during the 2-day workshop and the educational outreach team supported him with various activities. By the end, the participants had a mini-education of the life of a quantum physicist. Jacob’s enthusiastic talk gave them an overview of everything important in quantum physics: A.I, Schrodinger’s cat, the quantum mechanics way of thinking, particle-wave duality...and many more.
The mind-opening experience engaged the audience and activated them: the students bombarded Jacob with their endless flow of questions. After each talk, the students engaged in activities, Louise presented Potential Penguin, Quantum Moves, Quantum Composer and Particle in a Box. First, the students were given the freedom to make sense of the concepts in their own way. A bit later, Jacob aided the conversation by describing the games in a deeper scientific context.
We were very happy to see the students excited by the games and, impatient to hear more. Some of them were interested in physics before but these two days were a real eye-opener for some and gave a good overview of the discoveries and big questions around quantum physics. We hope we managed to light up a path towards a potential science-related career for some of them simply by sparking their curiosity with games and interactive teaching methods.
We are looking forward to more workshops with ATU in autumn and next year in spring!