Feb. 6 State Youth Council Meeting Reflections - Quantum Disruption

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By Katalina Garcia, CWDC Administrative Assistant III

Have you heard all the talk about quantum lately? What is quantum even, and what does quantum mean for Colorado as a whole?

These are all questions that come to mind when I hear about quantum, and every presentation brings about endless questions. At the January Council meeting in Centennial, Colorado’s TechHub Designation for Quantum was the first presentation that went into more depth about what it could mean for our state. There is an opportunity to be intentional about how we invest in developing talent and upskilling Coloradans to be competitive in this rapidly growing field.

At the State Youth Council (SYC) Quarterly Meeting on Feb. 6, the topic of quantum was brought to Council members. Jake Douglass from Sandia National Laboratories and Lucy Sanders from the National Center for Women & Information Technology presented on Quantum. Quantum information science and technology (QIST) is an emerging field that is going to use the power of quantum physics to give us new technology tools. Essentially, this technology will offer new paradigms for solving problems exponentially faster than classical computers.

Quantum computing will likely disrupt many industries, transforming fields like energy, materials science, finance, information technology, defense, chemistry, and pharma just to name a few. While many associate quantum with advanced degrees, less than half of current quantum-related jobs require degrees, opening opportunities for people with various educational backgrounds. The biggest opportunity would be getting involved early; whether through education, internships, mentorships, or collaborations, to help shape the future of this emerging field and its impact on society.

Colorado has the opportunity to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion with intentional outreach to young people to explore career paths, and by elevating their voices and including them in decision-making to shape curriculum, policies, and programs that resonate and better serve the next generation.

Interested in discussing more about supporting youth? Mark your calendars and join the SYC for its next scheduled quarterly meetings. All SYC meetings are free and open to the public:

  • Friday, April 19, 2024, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - TBD In-person/Hybrid Meeting
  • Tuesday, August 6, 2024, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. - Register
  • Tuesday, November 12, 2024, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. - Register