Campus News

This Week in Photos: Virtual Lab Partners

February 25, 2021

Yvonne Gay

A student stares at a laptop screen.
A student discusses a lab experiment with a virtual partner.
Photo credit: Yvonne Gay

In this week’s photo series we stop by Wright Laboratory of Physics and visit a class with a cool take on how students work with lab partners.

Laura DeGroot’s Physics 103 class is chattering. Not because students aren’t engaged in their work—quite the opposite. Everyone is busy interacting with their virtual partners, a component in labs that the pandemic has caused many professors to creatively reshape. 

On this day, four students sit at tables with monitors displaying their classmates across from them. A small plastic container with sand sits on the floor, and a tall measuring stick, clamped to the table, hovers inches above the box. After leveling the sand with a few bangs and shakes, a small sphere is held at a certain distance and dropped. Measurements are taken to determine how far the sphere traveled into the sand.


A physics lab room.
Students work distanced from each other in a Wight building lab. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
A male student uses a light on his cell phone to look into a sandbox.
A student uses a cell phone light during the sphere experiment. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
A girl works at a lab table with another student on a monitor.
Lab partners discuss the experiment. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
A girl holds a small metal ball over a sandbox
A small sphere is held above a sandbox. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
A student kneels next to a sandbox in a physics lab.
A student measuring depth. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
A teacher sits at a computer in front of a chalkboard.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics Laura DeGroot. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay


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