PVCC faculty, staff and students, along with representatives from Dominion, in the newly renovated physics lab on PVCC’s main campus Credit: Credit: PVCC

September 4, 2015    

Contact: Leigh-Anne Lawrence
Director, Marketing & Media Relations
434.961.6574; llawrence@pvcc.edu

PVCC holds dedication event for renovated physics lab

(Charlottesville, Va.) – Piedmont Virginia Community College held a dedication ceremony for its newly renovated physics lab on Friday, Sept. 4. The renovation was funded by a generous $25,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation.

The renovation included the installation of new high-definition lecture capture equipment; new lab tables, flooring, sink, and instructor demonstration area; the installation of retractable wiring in the ceiling to improve demonstrations and experiments; and the purchase of new lab equipment to enhance student learning.

Following remarks from PVCC President Frank Friedman; PVCC Business, Mathematics and Technologies Dean Adam Hastings; and Dominion Foundation President Hunter Applewhite, attendees viewed an experiment conducted by Associate Physics Professor Yanina Goddard and her physics students. The experiment demonstrated the ease at which experiments can be conducted in the renovated lab space.

“The new lab design has greatly improved the teaching and learning opportunities for students in the physics program,” said Goddard. “The original lab consisted of 12 desks and six lab tables, which made it difficult to conduct experiments and group work. This new design allows for greater collaboration and discussion among students, especially since we’re using the flipped classroom model.”

In the “flipped classroom” model of teaching, students view their lectures and core course materials outside the classroom, allowing for in-class time to be spent on practical exercises, group projects, and class discussions.

“The flipped classroom model allows us to drill down and see what concepts students are missing,” said Goddard. “It’s not just an instructor standing at the front of the classroom anymore. We’re working through concepts together, which is so much better for students.”

PVCC President Frank Friedman agrees.

“We’re thrilled for our students,” said Friedman. “This grant has allowed us to not only enhance the instructional space, but to create a rich learning environment that will help students better understand the complex concepts that are the foundation for so many of our STEM programs.”

On Friday, PVCC also announced that the college has received a second $25,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation to renovate its engineering and electronics lab. The renovation will include a redesign of the lab space and new, industry-caliber equipment that will allow students to learn in a simulated work environment.

“We’re proud of our affiliation with Piedmont Virginia Community College and we believe that by supporting engineering technology we’re helping to improve tomorrow’s workforce with up-to-date equipment and lab space,” said Hunter Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “At Dominion, we know that Virginia’s community colleges represent an important future in workforce training.”

The renovation of the second lab will completed by summer 2016.

About Piedmont Virginia Community College: PVCC is a nonresidential two-year institution of higher education that serves Central Virginia—principally residents of the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson. The main campus is located in Albemarle County. The PVCC Eugene Giuseppe Center is located in Greene County, and the PVCC Jefferson School Center is located in downtown Charlottesville. PVCC is one of 23 community colleges in Virginia that comprise the Virginia Community College System. For more information, visit www.pvcc.edu.

About Dominion: Dominion (NYSE: D), is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy. The Dominion Foundation is dedicated to improving the physical, social and economic well-being of the communities served by Dominion companies. The Foundation supports nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, support education and promote community vitality. For more information about Dominion, visit www.dom.com.