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MSU partners with Montana teachers to celebrate World Quantum Day

Montana State University celebrates World Quantum Day April 14.
Montana State University celebrates World Quantum Day April 14.

Montana State University is celebrating its growing research in the field of quantum science by marking World Quantum Day for the first time this spring.

First, a primer: Quantum mechanics is the science of atoms and particles that supports technologies like lasers, LED monitors, the inner workings of smartphones, MRI scanners, and GPS.

Suzi Taylor is the director of MSU’s Science Math Resource Center. She says MSU has invested heavily in quantum technologies research in recent years.

“MSU is becoming a powerhouse in quantum research, quantum science, and technologies,” says Taylor. “Montana is pretty uniquely positioned to be a leader in this field. We have an entrepreneurial spirit in Montana, and since this is such a leading-edge industry. I think we're ripe to start small businesses and grow some of our existing businesses to take advantage of all these new developments in quantum technologies.”

There is the Air Force Research Lab to test prototype quantum components in frigid environments, the National Science Foundation grant to study the national quantum supply chain, the Optical and Quantum System Program, and the Montana Nanotechnology Facility, as well as collaborations with other universities and businesses.

To celebrate its first-ever World Quantum Day, the university is partnering with Montana middle and high school teachers. It’s an effort to spark economic development, education, and workforce development around quantum technologies. Teachers can request activity kits.

“The students who are in middle and high school now will be workers in Montana in just a few years from now,” says Taylor. “And we are quite optimistic that there will be many new jobs, up to thousands of jobs in Montana. These will be good, high-paying STEM jobs in the quantum industry.”

World Quantum Day is April 14. The deadline to apply for an educators’ kit is March 16. To apply, visit

Sarah Kanter Brown is the producer of YPR’s Field Days. A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, Brown has worked at newspapers and magazines nationwide.