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This NSF-funded project aims to provide a novel, informal Quantum Information Science (QIS) learning environment for upper-elementary and middle-school students. We will design, implement, and study an online game world that embeds key QIS concepts. While QIS education has long been the realm of upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses, recent initiatives (Workshop on QIS K-12 Key Concepts and the National Q-12 Education Partnership) have focused on expanding learning opportunities and defining age-appropriate K-12 QIS content in order to prepare a future workforce for quantum-related jobs. Widespread formal QIS education for early ages is many years in the future, but we can make complementary inroads now through carefully-designed, broadly accessibly, informal education opportunities to gain insight by watching the first few links.

The objective is to build and research the success of games with associated instructional material, within a game world that integrates best practices in motivation, rewards, and learning theory, to build intuitive understanding of QIS key concepts in 6th-8th grade students. Our game environment, Quander, consists of three main elements. First, Quander uses modified versions of familiar games (e.g. Superposition Tic-Tac-Toe), as well as new ones, to introduce QIS key concepts in a way that is both fun and builds upon students’ existing knowledge. Second, Quander includes QIS educative materials that connect the game play to QIS concepts. Third, Quander surrounds these mini-games with a world that provides incentives (e.g. badges, points, and quizzes), to encourage students to interact with and learn from the QIS educative materials. 


Diana Franklin

David Maldonado

Irina Lee

Tianle Liu

UC Santa Barbara

Danielle Harlow


Emily Edwards