WILLIAMSBURG – Dr. Larry Newquist, professor of physics at University of the Cumberlands (UC) since 1991, teaches astronomy not only at UC, but also to elementary and high school students in the local community using an inflatable planetarium.
“I enjoy teaching and the students of all ages seem to like the planetarium,” said Newquist. “It is something different from the classroom setting and I love teaching the students about our nighttime sky and all the many things that exists in it.”
The inflatable planetarium holds about 30 students. He uses it for his astronomy classes at UC and has taken it to such places as Barbourville City School, Lynn Camp School, the Summer Science Camp at Corbin and Roger’s Explorers program hosted at UC.
At such events, Newquist helps students find constellations in the nighttime sky, locate constellations using star maps, and teaches them how to tell a planet from a star. He also uses the planetarium with his astronomy classes about three times each semester. The planetarium is clearer and a guaranteed show that helps the students see and fully understand the lessons.
“I truly enjoy working with kids and sharing my knowledge with them,” said Newquist. “Teaching them many of the incredible elements of our nighttime sky will not only educate the students in this area of study, but might also spark an interest in a career in science for their future.”
Newquist has three degrees in physics. He received his B.A. from Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. in 1981, M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Missouri in 1983 and 1990 respectively. He is also the chair of the Committee for Presidential Scholars Research at UC.
For more information, visit www.ucumberlands.edu.