Glimpses from our JuniorUni event

Mini course on quantum computing for school pupils in Cologne


A three-day mini course targeting students from grades 8 to 10 (EF) recently took place at the University of Cologne. The course was led by ML4Q member, Alex Altland, in the Institute for Theoretical Physics. The course’s objective was to introduce pupils to the basic concepts of quantum mechanics as well as basic quantum algorithm operations which are used for the realization of a quantum computer.

Among the concepts covered were “superposition” and “entanglement” which were simplified using math relevant to the pupil’s knowledge. New ideas were clarified working out blackboard examples, making the sessions interactive and the new concepts understandable as the students reported. The students were also introduced to basic qubit gate operations and were guided in using the free accessible IBM Quantum composer.

The sessions were rich in questions, where students were curious to learn what a quantum computer actually is and how quantum technology will be different. More than 20 students attended the three sessions. Some reported that this was their first time in a university lecture room and how exciting this experience was.

JuniorUni serves as a platform that allows young individuals to pursue their interests at a subject-specific level. Through the voluntary contributions of experts from various fields, including ML4Q professionals, JuniorUni offers these experiences to students free of charge.


I found it amazing that I could discuss a quantum algorithm with school pupils. I learned that one only needs the square root of 2 as math knowledge to be able to introduce quantum computing to almost any group of people in 2 hours.

Alexander Altland

Professor for Theoretical Physics, University of Cologne