Quantum School for Young Students

Quantum for high school students

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), previsouly known as the Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students (QCSYS).

Applications for QSYS 2022 are now closed.

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 2022 will take place over two weeks in July:

From July 11-15, QSYS Virtual will explore the fundamentals of quantum physics, quantum cryptography, and quantum computing through interactive lectures and group problem-solving.

From July 25-29, QSYS On-Campus will provide deeper dive into the hardware and experiments being used to explore the quantum frontier, including networking with researchers and hands-on lab activities.

Students may apply to both QSYS Virtual and QSYS On-Campus, or to QSYS Virtual only. If attending the On-Campus program, you must attend the virtual program as well. Up to 250 students will be accepted to QSYS Virtual, and up to 45 students will be invited to QSYS On-Campus.

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.

Join hundreds of motivated students from around the world and meet some of the most renowned researchers the field has to offer.

We are planning for a partially in-person QSYS 2022 experience. The University of Waterloo is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and is implementing proactive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our community members. Any person visiting campus must follow the COVID-19 safety protocols. The situation is being monitored and we will post updates on this website regarding any necessary programming changes that may be required due to the pandemic.

Learn more about QSYS

Remote video URL

A male student and two female students exploring quantum mechanics using tweasers, a microchip and petri dish

What do you do at QSYS?

QSYS 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 online program, you will learn about:

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


Virtual QSYS will follow this general format:

Dates Time Activity
Monday, July 11 to Friday, July 15 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET Online morning lectures and activities
12:30-2:30 p.m. ET Break
2:30-4:30 p.m. ET Online afternoon lectures and activities

QSYS On-Campus will start each day at 9:00 a.m. and run until 5:00 p.m. During the day, participants will tour labs at IQC, work together on lab activities, and hear lectures from IQC researchers. Social activities will be held in the evenings.

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 2022. QSYS Virtual participants will need a reliable internet connection to join the online sessions.

When is it offered?

The virtual week of QSYS will take place Monday, July 11 to Friday, July 15. The on-campus week of QSYS will take place Monday, July 25 to Friday, July 29, with attendees arriving on Sunday, July 24 and departing on Saturday, July 30, 2022.

Where is it offered?

The first week of QSYS will be run virtually, with all lectures, discussions, mentoring and networking opportunities will take place through an online meeting platform. 

The second week of QSYS will be run on-campus at the University of Waterloo, at the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre. Students will stay in residence on the University of Waterloo campus.

How to apply?

  • Applications require one reference letter and a written discussion paper.
  • Applications for QSYS 2022 are now closed.

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

Remote video URL