Shelly Gaydos – This Is How I Work

Shelly Gaydos – This Is How I Work

Shelly Gaydos is a mentor who is very dedicated
to her team and spreading the word of FIRST. Gaydos is geared towards bringing
new ideas and projects to get kids more interested about engineering. She began
an FRC team at the high school where she teaches and has been involved with
FIRST ever since. She has even started robotics classes at her high school to
get kids more interested in robotics and prepare them for the FIRST season.
She’s also lead her team to win the Chairman’s Award during the 2013 and 2014
season.
[Responses from August 5, 2013; updated on
October 6, 2014]
Name: Shelly Gaydos
CD Username: N/A
Current Gig/Job: Pre-Engineering Teacher, Hammond High Magnet School
Alma Mater/Degree: Southeastern Louisiana University BS Math Education ME Secondary
Principalship
Current Team(s): Torbotics Team 2080
Former Team(s): N/A
Location: Hammond High Magnet School, Hammond, Louisiana
Hobbies: Robotics, Swim Team, Football
What inspired you to do
what you do? Tell us a story.
I had been teaching math and physics for 21
years and was looking for new and exciting activities to bring into the
classroom. When our principal showed me the FIRST Robotics information, I had
no idea how it was going to change my life and the lives of so many others. I
started by walking down the hall and telling some of my students to stay after
school for a meeting. We did not know what we were doing, but thankfully there were
FRC mentors just a phone call away. We finished (survived) our first season,
and I was finally able to sit down and reflect over the chaotic rookie season
that had just come to a close. I realized that FIRST Robotics was the solution
that I had been searching for all of these years. I am inspired by each of
these students as I see how they can accomplish things that they never thought
that they were capable of doing. These moments can be anything from a student
picking up a hammer for the first time to the excited screams at midnight when
we shoot a basketball. My inspiration is the sound of lives changing one moment
at a time.
What is your day job,
and how’d you get there?
I am a teacher at Hammond High Magnet School. After
our first two seasons with FIRST Robotics, I started a robotics class. The
program has now expanded, and our students have the opportunity to take
Engineering Classes starting with Intro to Engineering, progressing to
Engineering Design I and Engineering Design II and finishing with Robotics.
What is your favorite
story to tell about robotics?
I could write a book about my favorite robotics
stories. Anyone who is involved in FIRST Robotics can tell you that it is
always an adventure. My favorite story begins two years ago at the 2012 Bayou
Regional. Everything was going great, and team 2080 was in the top twenty going
into the selection process on Saturday. However, for the first time since our
Rookie year, we were not chosen to play in the Championship Tournament that
afternoon. We were devastated and shocked. I went with the drive team to return
the robot to the pits, and I prepared myself to go help my students deal with
the disappointment. When I came around the corner and looked in the stands, I
found my students all on their feet cheering for all of the other teams who did
get to compete that day. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work with
these teenagers each day! The story does not stop there. Instead of anger and
bitterness, these students came home with a new passion to become a better
team. They began to brainstorm on the way home that day. I am so proud to say
that their passion paid off at the Razorback Regional 2013 and the Bayou
Regional 2014 where Team 2080 won the Chairman’s Award both times. These
students truly understand what FIRST Robotics is all about!
What’s your favorite
robot that you didn’t help build?
My favorite robot was the Logomotion robot built
by Team 456.
What’s your workspace
setup like? (Work/Robotics/Home)
We were fortunate enough to be able to renovate
the wood shop in our school to our Engineering Lab. It has machines capable of
working with wood and metal. We are able to build our robot completely in our
own shop.
What do you listen to
while you work?
Country music makes me happy, happy, and happy!
What’s your schedule
like during build season?
We work 6 days a week. We do not work on Sundays
to allow the students to go to church and be with their families.
What everyday thing are
you better at than anyone else?
I guess it would be time management. I have a
weird way of being able to predict exactly how long it will take us to complete
a task.
What’s the best advice
you’ve ever received?
Don’t try to do it all!
What is your favorite
guilty pleasure?
DIET COKE!
Fill in the blank. I’d
love to see     Maureen Politz     answer
these same questions.
I was the Woodie Flowers Award winner for the Bayou Regional 2014.

“Education is not the learning of the facts, but
the training of the mind to think.” – Albert Einstein