Held every year, Parents Weekend is the biggest opportunity for the parents of students to get a glimpse into everyday life at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott Campus. It is a chance to see for themselves all of the great things the university has to offer. They also have a chance to meet the staff and faculty.
Friday, April 5 was a very relaxed day for the parents who attended some classes and saw what an average day of school is like at Embry-Riddle. In the afternoon, parents could take a tour of any of the labs to see the different student projects. Among those included was the Air Traffic Control Lab, the Global Security Operations Center, the Jet Dragster shop, Robotics Lab, and a wind tunnel demonstration.
The parents and their students could take a shuttle ride out to the observatory after a dinner of roast beef, potatoes, and vegetables. Through the three telescopes set up, Jupiter and four of its moons were visible. Guests could see a live feed of red filtered images of Orion’s nebula through the large telescope. Also out by the observatory, several of the physics students had set up experiments for the parents, including a glowing pickle.
On Saturday, April 6 morning at 8:30 a.m., all parents were invited to a continental breakfast followed by an official welcome from Chancellor Dr. Frank Ayers. Dean of Students Larry Stephan led a discussion of student life at Embry-Riddle. Then, he introduced Cindy Smith, who is the Chairperson of the Parent Advisory Board. Smith focused on the importance of internships and scholarships and how parents can help by participating in regional events.
Late in the morning, the deans of all three colleges hosted students from their college who have been on internships or had experience in the industry.
Dr. Ron Madler led the engineering students who shared their experiences in industry involving structural and component design, fabrication, and ballistic testing.
The students under Dr. Archie Dickey, Dean of Arts and Sciences, talked about new methods and procedures they developed through internships, as well as the importance of the networking opportunities. “There is a challenging point to every degree program, and internships help you overcome this challenge,” said Dr. Archie Dickey.
The faculty represented fixed wing and rotary wing, as well as unmanned aerial systems. Dr. Gary Northam, Dean of The College of Aviation, talked about the opportunities Embry-Riddle offers to help its graduating pilots to succeed. In aviation, internships are key, even if it is unpaid. An internship could simply be seen as a three month long job interview.
The student life departments and the Hawaii Club closed out the official events and presentations for the weekend.
There was a BBQ lunch hosted outside of the Hunt Student Union. The rest of the afternoon was free for parents to tour any of the labs they might have missed on Friday. Overall, it was a very eventful weekend for the parents.