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November 16, 2020

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Hub funds an inspiring quantum-related enrichment programme for school students

A project that will deliver a comprehensive programme of classroom-based activities and quantum-related CPD for A-level students and their teachers has received renewed funding through the Quantum Communications Hub’s Partnership Resource Fund.

The project, titled the ‘Quantum Ambassadors Programme’, aims to promote the uptake of STEM subjects, highlighting the benefits and applications of mature quantum technologies and signposting career pathways for science graduates. It also seeks to increase awareness and understanding of the importance and relevance of quantum technologies to UK society, culture and the economy.

The National STEM Learning Centre and the University of York Science Education Group are the lead partners on this collaborative project, which also involves a wide network of partners and supporting organisations, including all four of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme’s Quantum Technology Hubs. The project will draw upon the science and technologies of the National Quantum Technologies Programme to provide context for the activities and resources, and will harness expertise from the Hubs throughout.

The first phase of the programme, which was delivered in 2017-2019, was a huge success with over 100 schools from across the UK registering to take part. Speaking after a Quantum Ambassadors session was held at their school, a teacher said: “Thank you so much for your visit yesterday and for all the resources and advice you gave us. We will certainly follow up yesterday’s activities in class and try the other two. It was really helpful to hear about the other STEM opportunities around and to get some fresh ideas of activities we can do and places we could visit.”

As part of the feedback process, a participating school student commented: “I find it [physics] more interesting as a result [of this programme]. Yes, someone came to talk about quantum technology, which fascinated me. We don’t look at the quantum realm in much detail at school, so the talk definitely furthered my interest in that area of physics.”

The programme will be rolled out nationally, meaning schools all over the country will be able to access the classroom activities and accompanying resources. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the new phase of the programme will be delivered online in the first instance, with classroom activities scheduled to resume later on in the project lifetime.

For information on the second phase of the programme, and on how to get involved, visit the Quantum Ambassadors website.

If you are a STEM ambassador and would be interested in receiving training – free of charge – to become a quantum ambassador, then log on to your profile and go to the skills and qualifications tab where you can add Quantum Ambassadors to your schemes.