A man of many abilities. Engineer, professor, entrepreneur, inventor and speaker, Rodrigo Simon, from Birigui, Brazil, was responsible for organizing, with the Michaelis Foundation, one of the largest Science Days of 2019 in Araçatuba, which was attended by more than 20 thousand people. Honored by the City Council with the diploma of honor to merit in 2016, Rodrigo has been encouraging STEM learning through numerous projects.
Married to Lucinéia dos Santos and father of two girls, Rodrigo's story begins in São Caetano do Sul. Due to a rare disease that prevented him from having contact with pollution, at the age of 4 he moved to Birigui. At the age of 10 he became interested in working with his father. “On weekends we would go to a farm, and I really enjoyed fishing. We had a fair there. I used to sell cheese on the street, fruit and even ice cream”, he said. At this point, selling had fascinated Rodrigo more than studying.
It was only at the age of 13 that this scenario began to change, when Rodrigo took a computer course and three years later he was offered a teaching position. The experience led him to study computer engineering at college and, after the mother of one of his classmates excluded him from a video for considering him a “poor student and example for his son”, Rodrigo decided to focus more on studying “to make my parents proud”.
A game changer worthy of admiration, Rodrigo had many difficulties studying the subject of electronics at the university , which is now the one he currently teaches at. In 2017, through the faculty where he works, he took his students to participate in the International Innovation and Technology week in the United States. In October of this year, he went with students to present projects at Cape Canaveral.
In his professional career Rodrigo has already had the opportunity to present his “Pool Airbag” project in the United States and to enter his creation “Smart Chair” in the Shark Tank Brazil program. However, in a conversation with his daughter, he was asked: “Daddy, why aren't you famous?”. At the time, the question took him by surprise, but today Rodrigo speaks with pride about the learning that his daughter brought to his life. “My concept was to be a millionaire, but I realized that it is no longer my focus. What I want today is to live”, he said with a smile on his face.
In 2016, Rodrigo carried the Olympic torch and, in order to leave a legacy to his family, he donated the object to the city of Birigui, where it will be exhibited at Espaço Rodrigo Simon. Fulfilled, the professional has yet only one dream he aims to fulfill in the short term: “I want to bring Science Days to my city, Birigui”.
For more information about Science Days, please visit: http://www.sciencedays.org/sdc-brazil
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