BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. – With so much to information to be learned about the expansive solar system that engulfs planet Earth, local students got the opportunity to expound upon their knowledge this past weekend in a seminar entitled “Solar System and the Universe.”
Held in Marlboro Academy’s gymnasium, Dr. Jose D’Arruda, a University of North Carolina at Pembroke physics professor and astronomer, offered his presentation Friday morning from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Appropriate for middle school and high school students, D’Arruda presented the history of astronomy and the universe, from the solar system to black holes, to other galaxies and everything in between. He explored Newton and Einstein’s interpretation of gravity, the lifespan of stars, and the size of the universe as we know today.
D’Arruda also covered fascinating topics such as the existence of life beyond earth and the human’s perspective of size and time. Marlboro Academy was fortunate to host such a prolific individual.
D’Arruda earned a Ph.D in physics from the University of Delaware in 1971 and an M.S. in theoretical physics in 1968. He received his B.S. in physics and mathematics from the Lowell Technological Institute in 1965. D’Arruda has been a professor of physics at UNCP since 1974, and currently teaches calculus physics, classical mechanics and physical science.
Having served as the Chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at UNCP from 1981 to 2004, D’Arruda is currently the Director of UNCP’s astronomical observatory and Campus Director for the NASA Space Grant. D’Arruda has also held the position of adjunct professor of physics at Duke University and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
He also received the “Outstanding Physics Award” from Lowell Technological Institute in 2015, and the “John L. Hubisz Award for Outstanding Service to the North Carolinz Physics Teachers” in 2014. In 2009, he received the “North Carolina Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT) Award” for Outstanding Educator, and presented the graduation commencement address at the University of Delaware.
In 2007, D’Arruda received the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors (BOG) “Teaching Excellence Award” and the “Distinguished Service to Education Award” from the North Carolina Science Teachers Association. He was also instrumental in the construction of the university’s new observatory.
“Dr. D’Arruda has been a leader in the field of science education for over a quarter century,” said Dr. Thomas Leach, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.
Promoting science inside the classroom and out is D’Arruda’s passion.
“Science plays such a large role in the lives of people, I want them to be informed about science,” D’Arruda said. “I teach because I am eager to share with others my delight in the world we live in.”