LCPS Students Study the Quantum Realm

Eight high school students from Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) explored the mysteries of the universe and how they apply to everyday life this summer through the Connected DMV Pathways to Quantum Immersion Program hosted by George Mason University.

Quantum is the study of the universe at its smallest scales. The strange behaviors that occur at the atomic level affect technologies that power computers and other advanced devices. Students in the George Mason program explored technologies in computing and communications that will change the way workplaces function in the future. Participants came from 21 schools in the Metropolitan Washington area.

Students started the program with two weeks of virtual learning, focusing on quantum applications and careers. They then moved onto George Mason’s campus on July 9 for a week of unique academic opportunities. While the university was their host, students didn’t spend all of their time there.

They took a field trip to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and learned about the role of quantum in communications. Students also were shown the area where the Nancy Grace Roman telescope is being assembled.

At the University of Maryland, students toured numerous quantum labs, including a cyclotron and a quantum computer. At The MITRE Corporation, which provides engineering and technical guidance for the Air Force, program participants heard from a career panel and visited nano-bio and vision-sensing labs. The nano-fabrication facility at George Washington University showed them work being done with scanning and transmitting electron microscopes.

The students’ final visit was to the White House Eisenhower Executive Office for presentations by members of the Office of Science and Technology Policy Quantum. The presentations were held in the Diplomatic Reception Room and students also toured the building.

LCPS students taking part in the program included:

  • Dianne Barahona-Bonilla, Briar Woods High School

  • Abhigya Goel, Academies of Loudoun/Riverside High School

  • Arnav Gupta, Rock Ridge High School

  • Kushi Kura, Independence High School

  • Katelyn Miller, Loudoun Valley High School

  • Shivani Nadella, Academies of Loudoun/Freedom High School 

  • Advitiya Srinivasan, Academies of Loudoun/Briar Woods High School 

  • Joaquin Tuckett, Broad Run High School

Published September 12, 2023