Introduction to Quantum Computing with Protein Puzzle
A game to demonstrate the power of quantum computing to students
Estimated Cost of Materials
14 - 18
Cybersecurity, Quantum Computing, Healthcare, Climate Change
This activity kit introduces the fundamentals of quantum computing with Protein Puzzle, an interactive game designed to teach students about the power and future potential of quantum computing.Protein Puzzle shows the power of quantum computing through an easy-to-understand analogy while providing students with facts and additional resources to learn about quantum computing.The activity can be completed in about 30 minutes, depending on number of students.
This activity kit will require the following resources:
- Facilitator should have an Internet-connected PC or Mac with a modern Web browser and an A/V setup to show a short video and demonstrate the game.
- Students (or pairs of students) will need an Internet-connected computer with a modern Web browser to play the game.
- Note: the game is best viewed on a laptop or desktop (PC or Mac).
Review the resources below for some fundamental background on quantum computing.
Play the Protein Puzzle game following the instructions provided with the game. Access the game here.
Make sure to read all game instructions and review the additional resources (after game ends) to be able to answer student questions.
After reviewing the provided materials, run through the steps in “Facilitate” to ensure A/V setup, etc. are working correctly.
Make sure to budget enough time so each student can play through the game at least once.
Introduce yourself and the goals for the activity, e.g., “Hello, my name is …, today we will be learning about quantum computing. We will watch a short video introducing the basics of quantum computing, and then you will each play a short game to demonstrate the power of quantum computing. We will wrap up with a short discussion about what we learned today.”
Play the video “Quantum Computing Expert Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty” (link below).
Play at least to 6:15 (through “Level 2: Teen”). For students with more experience, e.g., AP Computer Science, consider playing through 10:36 (through “Level 3: Undergrad”).
Demonstrate the Protein Puzzle game (link below). Answer any questions the students have about playing the game.
Allow each student to play through the game at least once.Encourage the students to read the quantum computing facts seen on “cooldown” when mis-matching shapes during the game, and also listed at the end of the game.
Finally, facilitate a brief (5 minute) discussion with the students to wrap up the activity. Sample questions for discussion:
1. How would you describe quantum computing?
2. What kind of problems can quantum computing solve that “classical” computers are not good at?
3. What is one of the “fun facts” you learned today about quantum computing?