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Quantum Quickstart

Quantum Quickstart students pose on campus

Program details have been updated as of February 1, 2023.

The Quantum Quickstart program offers Illinois high school students with a passion for STEM the opportunity to be exposed to the great scientific advances in quantum sciences and the physical foundations of quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics has reshaped how we see the world around us. More recently, quantum engineering has been hailed as a science with the potential to fundamentally redefine the technological landscape and our society. Information encoded in quantum bits is known to be completely secure from hacking; computers running on quantum algorithms can solve problems that no classical computer could ever solve; and quantum systems enable the world’s most precise measurements.

Chicago has quickly become a hub for this emerging field. In 2020, Argonne and the University of Chicago created a 52-mile quantum loop as a crucial step to the quantum internet. The Chicago area is also home to two of five National Quantum Centers.

This summer, Illinois high school students with a passion for STEM are invited to apply to Quantum Quickstart, a free, one-week program that introduces core concepts and applications of quantum engineering, led by faculty from UChicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering.

Course Description

It was refreshing to be able to interact and learn from experienced experts in such a welcoming and inviting environment. I felt I learned so much and I'm excited to apply my knowledge of quantum in the future. My favorite part was seeing Prof. Maurer and Prof. Yang's labs. I'd recommend Quantum Quickstart to everyone and anyone. Words cannot express how much I enjoyed this time.
-Vivi M., Quantum Quickstart participant 2021 and 2022, incoming member of UChicago's Class of 2027 -

In this one-week accelerated program, curious and ambitious high school students will be exposed to the counter-intuitive quantum world via lectures with faculty in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, theoretical discussions, and tours of world-class lab facilities. Participants will see the inner workings of quantum computers, learn about quantum engineering’s rollout to the consumer market, and even play quantum-adapted board games to understand the concept of entangelment.

In addition to seeing the world through a quantum lens, students will also attend sessions to prepare for future careers in STEM and meet with UChicago admissions counselors to learn about highly selective college admissions. This program is not for credit and participation in all sessions is required to receive the program certificate.

The program will be hosted on-campus, and program participants must reside in campus housing for the duration of the program. This course is being offered at no cost to selected participants.

Program contact: Please contact Faithe Beadle at with any questions.


Applicants should be at least 14 years of age and be a 9th or 10th grade student enrolled in high school within the state of Illinois. Preference will be given to students in the city of Chicago and students historically underrepresented in STEM fields. Students of any citizenship who meet this criteria are eligible to apply.

To be considered, applicants must complete an online application, provide an updated high school transcript, and respond to a short essay. A nomination from a teacher or counselor is also recommended, and can be completed here.

Applications will be accepted online beginning in January. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2023. All application decisions for this program will be released at the same time in mid-April.


All costs, inclusive of tuition, room, and board, for this program are completely covered. Students will need to have their own health insurance.


July 23 - July 28

Class starts: July 24

Class concludes: July 28

Arrive on-campus: July 23

Closing session and move-out: July 28