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Enrichment Opportunities

QCSYS Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students

Join 44 fellow high school students for an exciting eight-day enrichment program called Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students (QCSYS). Hosted by the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, QCSYS runs August 5 – 13, 2021*. You’ll arrive on August 4 and depart on August 14.

At QCSYS you’ll have the chance to experience an engaging blend of lectures, hands-on experiments and group work focused on quantum cryptography — a cutting-edge field that harnesses the fascinating features of quantum mechanics, like superposition, entanglement and uncertainty, to develop unbreakable encryption that protects our information.

This will give you a first-hand look into the physics and mathematics of quantum mechanics, cryptography and how they merge into one of the most exciting topics in contemporary science — quantum cryptography. You’ll get to meet and learn from some of the most renowned researchers in the field, build relationships, participate in daily social activities and stay in a university residence. Even if you’re from the Waterloo region, you’ll stay in residence with the other students and QCSYS chaperones.

This school is for you if you are:

  • In Years 11 or 12 (or equivalent) — exceptional Year 10 students may be accepted, space permitting
  • 15 years or older
  • Enrolled in or have completed Year 11 mathematics or higher (Year 11 physics is recommended but not mandatory)
  • Fluent in English


Upon acceptance into the program, you’re responsible for:

  • A $250 CAD registration fee
  • Booking and payment for your travel to and from Waterloo

IQC offers bursaries to help cover the costs of registration and travel. If you want to apply for a bursary, you must do so when you’re filling out your application.

Applications, including references, are due March 19, 2021Start your application today!

*NOTE: The University of Waterloo is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and is implementing proactive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our community members. Updates will be posted online regarding any programming changes that may be required.


Each year, the SHAD program invites 1000 students from across Canada and around the world to attend a month-long summer program at one of sixteen Canadian university campuses. For 2021, the Shad experience will be delivered virtually and include an immersive program of lectures, workshops, projects and activities that builds on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math), introducing participants to a multi-disciplinary approach. Applicants currently completing Grade 10 or 11 are chosen based on exceptional academic achievement, initiative, drive, and creativity.

Programming is built around a different theme each year. Participants work with peers to find bold solutions to complex problems. Students create a product or service, conduct market surveys, draft business plans, and engineer working prototypes. The winning team from each campus is invited to the national competition in the fall. The 2021 program runs July 5-30. The cost (covering everything but transportation) is $3,200 ($7,000 for international students), but scholarships and bursaries are available.

The online application can be found here: https://www.shad.ca/apply/. The application and reference must be submitted by December 7 at the latest (earlier applications are encouraged). Students must write an application essay and ask a teacher to write a reference on their behalf. Please contact Ms. Berndsen in the University Counselling Office for a transcript. Your university counsellor is happy to provide advice and editing support for the application.