The Quantum Toolbox Project Awarded Grant by UArizona Foundation, UArizona's First Hands-on Quantum Course

June 5, 2024
students working in Dal Wilson's Lab

Students work in Assoc. Prof. Dal Wilson's Lab, from left to right: Atkin Hyatt, Mitul Dey Chowdhury, and Morgan Choi.

The Quantum Toolbox project at the University of Arizona's Wyant College of Optical Sciences is an exciting new initiative recently funded through a $25,000 grant from the UArizona Foundation Small Grants Committee. This achievement was made possible by the efforts of Dalziel Wilson, Associate Professor of Optical Sciences, and Kaye Rowan, Executive Director of Development.

The project aims to introduce hands-on quantum education through an independent study course starting in fall 2024, with official enrollment slated for fall 2025. This will be the university's first hands-on quantum course, providing vital experiential learning opportunities for students passionate about quantum science and the growing availability of innovative careers in the quantum field. The course will be listed in the Wyant College of Optical Sciences and will be cross listed in the College of Engineering in Fall 2026.

Participation in outreach activities is an integral component of the project, fostering the growth of academic, professional, and personal development. Education kits have been designed to facilitate hands-on learning experiences within the course and to serve as portable quantum laboratories for demonstrations at regional educational institutions and community events, prioritizing engagement with diverse student communities to address existing disparities in STEM fields.

The initiative aims to increase enrollment to 15 students by Fall 2025, including remote participants, and to eventually integrate the course into the core offerings of the Wyant College of Optical Sciences graduate program by Fall 2026. Outreach efforts will be spearheaded by the NSF-ERC Center for Quantum Networks (CQN), led by Julie Emms, ERC administrative director. Initially, the outreach program will lean into existing Wyant College and CQN events, with plans to expand to other venues in the long term. In time, the program will use a fiber-based quantum optics education kit for mobile laboratory outreach. 

Congratulations to the team pursuing these goals and programs to bring Quantum Sciences to the public and our students!