Quantum School for Young Students

Quantum for high school students

Quantum School for Young Students group photo

Discover how mathematics, physics, computer science, engineering, and more combine into one of the most exciting topics in modern science – quantum information – at the Quantum School for Young Students (QSYS).

Applications for QSYS 2023 are now closed. Stay tuned for 2024 applications.

Please check our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to some common questions, and find contact information for any further questions you may have.

What is QSYS?

QSYS is a unique enrichment program for high school students that offers a blend of expert lectures, small group discussions, problem solving, and opportunities for mentoring and networking with world-leading quantum researchers. QSYS 2024 will take place in-person on the University of Waterloo campus August 7 – 15 2024.

Join hundreds of motivated students from around the world and meet some of the most renowned researchers the field has to offer. Up to 45 students will be invited to QSYS. At QSYS, you will:

  • see how the world works at the quantum level;
  • understand phenomenon like quantum superposition and entanglement;  
  • learn how quantum technology will transform computing, imaging and cryptography; and
  • make international friendships.
A male student and two female students exploring quantum mechanics using tweasers, a microchip and petri dish

What do you do at QSYS?

The Quantum School for Young Students (formerly the Quantum Cryptography school for Young Students) will provide you with the necessary mathematical background to tackle some of the largest topics in modern physics. You bring your scientific curiosity and love of learning, and we'll show you how to use mathematical tools to explore. Interested in getting a head start? Download the free QSYS (QCSYS) quantum primer and begin building your linear algebra and arithmetic skills, as well as your understanding of quantum mechanics.

During the program, you will learn about:

  • complex numbers
  • entanglement
  • experimental physics
  • linear algebra
  • quantum computing and algorithms
  • quantum cryptography
  • quantum mechanics, and
  • quantum optics.



QSYS students can expect a full day of activities every day of the program. Students will tour the quantum labs at IQC, work together on advanced problems, experiment with real quantum lab equipment, and participate in interactive lectures from quantum expected. Social activities will be held in the evenings, and students will have an opportunity to visit Niagara Falls on Sunday August 13th.


Who can apply for QSYS?

You are an ideal candidate, if you are:

  • in Grade 11 or 12 (e.g., Secondary V and CÉGEP in Québec),
  • age 15 or older,
  • curious and interested in exploring scientific concepts, 
  • have enrolled in or completed Grade 11 mathematics (Grade 11 physics is recommended), and
  • fluent in English.

Experience with quantum physics is not required, just curiosity and interest in exploring new scientific concepts. Exceptional Grade 10 students may be accepted, space permitting.


What does it cost?

There is no registration fee for QSYS 2023. All meals and accommodations are included during QSYS, and bursaries are available to help cover the costs of travel. You can apply for a bursary on your application.


When is it offered?

QSYS 2023 will take place Wednesday August 7th to Thursday August 15th. Students attending QSYS will arrive on Tuesday August 6th and depart on Friday August 16th.


Where is it offered?

QSYS will be run on-campus at the University of Waterloo, at the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC). All students (including those from the Waterloo Region) will stay in residence on the University of Waterloo campus with QSYS chaperones.


How to apply?

  • Applications require one reference letter and a written discussion paper.
  • Applications for QSYS 2023 are now closed.


Have more questions?

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.


Highlights from previous QSYS (QCSYS) programs

Hear from QSYS (QCSYS) alumnus Twesh Upadhyaya

Twesh Upadhyaya attended QSYS (QCSYS) in 2014. See what hes been up to since hes returned to IQC as a Masters student studying quantum cryptography.

QSYS Logo - Quantum School for Young Students

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