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Blue Ridge PBS ECHO and Virtual Virginia Announce “Hands on Physics”

Blue Ridge PBS ECHO has announced the premiere of Hands-on Physics, a series of demonstration videos designed in partnership with Virtual Virginia and the Physics Demonstration Lab at Virginia Tech.

Hands on Physics is designed to fill the gap that can sometimes exist in online courses when demonstrating key scientific principles due to lack of access to materials or facilities. The short segments are aimed at Physics 1 students and feature VT Physics doctoral student Alison Gaylord, with technical assistance from Virginia Tech’s Alma Robinson, Advanced Instructor & PhysTEC Teacher in Residence, and Henry Hilgendorf, Physics Lab and Demo Manager.

Hands on Physics was shot and edited by Blue Ridge PBS producer Sadie Hartzog on location in the Physics demonstration lab at Virginia Tech, providing students all over the globe with exposure to equipment and procedures that would be difficult for most teachers to duplicate.

The segments will be embedded in the Virtual Virginia Physics I course and are also available for free to classroom teachers, public and private school students, and homeschoolers.

Some topics included in the 16 episode series are:

These segments are designed to be embedded in online or blended courses and by teachers in face to face classrooms. They are also being added to GoOpenVA, a database of instructional resources and lesson plans hosted by the Virginia Department of Education. All segments are correlated to the Virginia Standards of Learning. They will air on Blue Ridge PBS ECHO, a service of Blue Ridge PBS focused on Education, Community, Health and Opportunity, and will be stored in the ECHO repository of online media content so that teachers and students can view them on demand 24/7. All segments will be released to the public for educational use on April 15, 2022.

According to Dr. Brian Mott, Executive Director of Virtual Virginia, “Virtual Virginia is the leader in online education in the Commonwealth, and we are pleased to partner with Blue Ridge PBS and ECHO in the Hands-on Science initiative. These digital resources, which are specifically designed to enhance student understanding in our Physics I course, will help our students master key scientific concepts.”

Blue Ridge PBS VP of Education Dr. Rose Martin concurs, saying, “Virtual Virginia is the perfect partner for Blue Ridge PBS as we share the goal of providing the best possible resources for classroom teachers in Virginia and beyond. We are pleased to offer our production expertise to both Virtual Virginia and the Virginia Department of Education.”

Hand on Physics is the follow up to Hands on Chemistry, produced by Blue Ridge PBS ECHO in the fall of 2021 and featuring McGlothlin Award-winning science teacher Fred Mitchell of Carroll County High School in Hillsville, VA.

Founded in 1967, Blue Ridge PBS is based in Roanoke, VA, and the sole public multimedia enterprise serving four million individuals in portions of four states. The station’s coverage area includes Southern and Southwest Virginia, and bordering counties in Tennessee, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

Blue Ridge PBS is comprised of five broadcast channels: WBRA-TV 15.1, Southwest Virginia Public Television 15.2, PBS Kids 15.3, Create 15.4, Blue Ridge PBS ECHO 15.5 and three channels online via YouTube: ECHO, Blue Ridge Streaming, and Project Southwest.

For questions about the Hands-on Physics project, please contact Tom Landon, Director of Educational Innovation at Blue Ridge PBS at [email protected]

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