Newly-founded Quantum Club magnifies the topic of quantum
October 18, 2019
The 2019-2020 school year welcomed a brand new science club at York. Created by senior Karlene Stanton, Quantum Club is a research-based club exploring concepts of basic quantum theory. The club is sponsored by physics teacher Brian Ramm, who wanted to bring students with a common interest together.
“The whole club is research and work-based. If you can find a topic you are interested in, you can learn about it and teach other people about it,” Ramm said. “It brings people who are interested in a certain topic together.”
Since quantum mechanics is a new and evolving subject, it is not yet taught in any science class. Therefore, many students do not know what the fascinating topic of quantum mechanics is. Quantum is the study of the very small- mainly how electrons and even smaller particles move and interact. It can be applied to many fields of sciences such as physics or biology.
“[Quantum mechanics] is cool and interesting and has some very important implications,” senior Karlene Stanton said. “Quantum mechanics is time traveling and superposition (being multiple places at once). Stuff like that that’s really interesting when we are learning about it.”
Though the term “quantum physics” sounds daunting, especially to students who have not taken advanced physics courses at York, it actually has very little to do with mathematical equations. Therefore, everyone is encouraged to join the club and learn more about quantum in a relaxed environment.
“I didn’t take physics until this year but I have already been learning about quantum for the past couple years; it’s totally unrelated,” Stanton said. “It’s just an area of science where you take these findings and how they can apply to our lives and these theoretical situations.”
The club is open to underclassmen as well as upperclassmen at York. Right now, the club only has junior and senior students, however the club members hope all grade levels will be involved eventually.
“I hope throughout the year we can convince younger students to join, and not be scared by them not knowing what they are doing.” senior Sydney Mountcastle said.
Stanton came up with the idea for Quantum Club after noticing the lack of research-based science clubs at York where students interested in a subject could expand their education outside of the classroom.
“The only science and math clubs we have right now are Science Olympiad and Math Team and they both work up to competitions,” Stanton said. “It’s more formal, so I was thinking of having a more informal discussion based club where you can just share ideas and talk about it instead of high pressure atmospheres.”
Though the club is only in its first weeks, they have exciting plans for the school year. Quantum Club is already planning field trips to different science presentations and the Adler Planetarium. The club meets every Thursday after school. The students research and learn about topics of quantum that interest them. Then, they teach other students in the club about their topic. Ramm believes this is an important skill they will take away from being apart of Quantum Club since a major part of science is presenting your research, results and observations.
“A lot of it is going to be peer teaching. A lot of people are going to come and research on their own and then present to the others,” Ramm said. “Presenting information to your peers is a skill that will be very valuable in school and in life.”