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McGraw-Hill Higher Education Joins Forces with Hands-On Labs to Enhance Distance Science Learning
Date:4/21/2009

New Alliance Allows Science Students to Master Lab Skills from Home

NEW YORK, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Practice makes perfect, but for today's science students, it's not always easy to gain the practice required to master their coursework. Due to a variety of factors, including the high cost of maintaining on-campus labs, growing online course enrollment, and laboratory restrictions, an increasing number of science students must find ways to practice lab skills outside the classroom.

McGraw-Hill Higher Education and Hands-On Labs, Inc. (HOL), a science education company that designs and produces academically aligned collections of laboratory materials for higher education students and institutions worldwide, have entered into a strategic alliance to make this possible. McGraw-Hill science curricula will be combined with HOL-produced LabPaqs(R), to create a specialized LabPaq product package which will allow students to perform genuine "wet lab" science experiments at their convenience - inside or outside the classroom.

"McGraw-Hill's relationship with Hands-On Labs will increase learning opportunities for students enrolled in science courses by supplying them with the traditional lab experiences they need to succeed in their coursework," said Ed Stanford, president, McGraw-Hill Higher Education. "By giving students an opportunity to practice lab work whenever or wherever desired, we are enabling them to study at their own pace without the time constraints of higher education facilities."

For distance learning and campus-based courses, schools will also have the option to include customized lab manuals that align with McGraw-Hill content they may already be using, both in print and online, giving instructors a more streamlined teaching approach. Professors can customize their LabPaq product package to be consistent with their course content, so students are only responsible for the materials individual instructors plan to teach.

"Demand for online science courses has risen dramatically at Northwestern State University and, at first, we were reluctant to offer more science courses because of the limited availability of lab simulations," said Dr. Zafer Hatahet, head of the Department of Biology, Northwestern State University. "LabPaqs fill an extremely critical need for hands-on scientific learning and are an excellent solution for distance learning students. This fall, we expect to enroll more than 500 students in an online lab science course using Biology and Anatomy & Physiology LabPaqs, which relate to the McGraw-Hill content our nursing, allied health and biology major students use."

LabPaqs are not simply science kits, but rather are pre-packaged, course-specific science laboratory materials available for all lab science disciplines. Assigned to students much like a textbook, LabPaqs employ green micro-scale science techniques and compact lab equipment. They are primarily used with distance learning and web-based science courses, but are also used on many campuses. Studies show that students using LabPaqs do as well as and usually better than students performing equivalent labs on campus.

"This strategic alliance with McGraw-Hill allows Hands-On Labs to further its mission of supporting experiential science education," said Hands-On Labs president and CEO Linda Jeschofnig. "This is a symbiotic relationship that not only benefits both companies, but the educational institutions and the students who value the quality, convenience and savings represented by our combined products."

LabPaq(R) is the registered brand name for HOL's unique products. They are creatively packaged, rigorously tested, and include the same chemicals and supplies used in campus laboratories. Commonly used by institutions with limited laboratory facilities and resources, LabPaqs are affordable, insured, and have a 15-year, 100 percent safety record. HOL has established an online LabPaq Science Educators Group on LinkedIn where instructors can review helpful tips and best practices as well as share expertise, suggestions and solutions.

About McGraw-Hill Higher Education:

McGraw-Hill Higher Education, a unit of McGraw-Hill Education, is a premier provider of teaching and learning solutions for 21st century post-secondary and higher education markets worldwide. Through a comprehensive range of traditional and digital education content and tools, McGraw-Hill Higher Education empowers educators and prepares professionals and students of all ages to connect, learn and succeed in the global economy. McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 65 languages. Additional information is available at http://www.mheducation.com/.

About Hands-On Labs, Inc.:

Hands-On Labs, Inc. designs, develops, produces, and distributes LabPaqs in Denver, Colorado. These unique academically aligned collections of science materials allow college and high school students to safely and effectively perform course specific laboratory assignments anytime and anywhere. HOL is its industry's leader and now produces over 80 different LabPaqs in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, plus Environmental and Forensic Science. For more information, visit www.labpaq.com.


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SOURCE McGraw-Hill Higher Education; Hands-On Labs, Inc.
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