Quantum Girls: A Revolution in School Science Education

Inaugurated by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Cathy Foley, science educators from across Australia came together at the Australian Academy of Science’s Shine Dome, to celebrate the national launch of Quantum Girls and Einstein-First programs. This pair of initiatives aims to bring primary and high school science into the 21st century and to reverse Australia’s critical STEM-skills shortage.

The launch is backed by resource industries, research organisations, supercomputing organisations such as Pawsey, quantum computing; and science teachers’ associations and universities.

Einstein-First has created a STEM education curriculum and a teacher training program that introduces modern science concepts in a spiral learning sequence that gives all children basic understanding of the science behind technologies that make the modern world, as well as climate science and renewable energy.

Quantum Girls, co-directed by Prof Jingbo Wang of UWA, is bringing quantum science and quantum computing into classrooms across Australia as well as STEM clubs and hackathons that are designed especially to inspire girls.

“Einstein-First has been so successful that we decided to offer it to schools all over Australia. Teachers and students love the program,” said Professor Blair who began testing Einstein-First in schools more than ten years ago. “Kids want to learn about things like black holes and not science that dates from before quantum physics was discovered.”

“Quantum computers are an unstoppable revolution. The quantum thinking behind them is best learnt at an early age,” said Professor Wang, who is a world-leading expert in quantum coding. “We are committed to bringing the quantum world to primary and secondary students across Australia. Quantum Girls will help ensure we have a quantum-literate workforce as the revolution unfolds”.

Pawsey’s Education and Training Manager, Ann Backhaus, urged the audience and all of us to embrace the spirit of paying it forward. Emphasising the immense opportunities these programs hold for young children, especially girls, to contribute to a diverse and formidable workforce of tomorrow.

How can we pay it forward? Talk to the educators you know – whether they are your colleagues, family’s educators or acquaintances – and introduce them to the program – https://www.quantumgirls.org/