Dive right in

Adam Hayden brings wealth of experience to Modeling and Simulation


photo by Amber Ashby

Mod and Sim teacher Adam Hayden manages his sixth period class. Hayden replaced former teacher Steven Martinez, who moved to North Carolina after the first semester.

Radiological scientist, pilot, teacher – Adam Hayden has been defined by perseverance and opportunity.

After former Modeling and Simulation teacher Steven Martinez announced he would be stepping down to move with his family to North Carolina last semester, students have gotten to know Hayden, Martinez’s replacement.

“I feel I’ve wandered around a good bit. Most of the directions I’ve picked in life didn’t work out as well as I had hoped, and I had to go in another direction,” Hayden said.

Hayden graduated from UCF and began his career in the medical field, working as a radiologist specializing in image manipulation and aiding, when needed, with patient care. When the work space was constantly becoming overloaded, Hayden began to feel burned out and decided to pursue other interests. Drawn to aviation, he pursued pilot training, but the cost was tremendous and there was no guarantee of a job at the end of the training.

“I decided I would not spend any more money to have a chance to get into a cockpit,” Hayden said. “There’s a point at which you say ‘For my own health, I have got to do what’s best for me.’”

Coincidentally, the contacts made in aviation led to a job at a local high school that was looking for someone with a background in aviation or engineering. Hayden took the opportunity and moved to a career in teaching, and after gaining his teaching certificate, went on to gain certifications in Career Technologies, Robotic Sciences, and Primary Education (Pre-K through third grade). Though teaching was not his original plan, Hayden managed to make the most of it, and currently is working to be certified in Autodesk Maya, the primary software used by Modeling & Simulation to create 3D models.

“I didn’t know it at the time, but a lot of my educational difficulties came from my dyslexia. Of course, there are benefits to my spatial awareness—I can rotate things in my mind, which made Maya and aviation perfect for me,” Hayden said.

He is in the process of personalizing the course. Currently, the priority is Maya certification, but the curriculum allows for much more. Hayden is interested in revitalizing some of the neglected areas of the course that were consolidated to focus on certification.

“Our partnerships with our shareholders can be more than just names on paper,” Hayden said. “Ideas are being thrown around like our students could take a field trip to UCF and get real hands-on experience with the subject.”

Hayden plans to incorporate what he’s learned over the years to offer students the best setting to learn and create, offering student access to the unused 3D printer in the classroom. He is eager to start working and learning alongside his students.

“This is rich soil. We can really grow some stuff here,” Hayden said.