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John Francis to Open Science Symposium

Fourth Annual Event Features Planet Walker
SARATOGA, Calif., – March 19, 2012 — Continuing to broaden its students’ skills and early experiences in the field of science, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School today announced that Planet Walker John Francis will be the keynote speaker at the school’s fourth annual Middle School Science Symposium on March 27, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Carrying the theme of “Inspiration and Imagination,” the event is designed to open the eyes of Middle School students to the multitude of ways an interest in science can manifest itself as a career.

After witnessing the devastation caused by a 1971 oil spill in San Francisco Bay, Francis stopped riding in motorized vehicles, a vow which lasted 22 years from 1972 until 1994. From 1973 until 1990, he also spent 17 years voluntarily silent. He traveled extensively, walking across the entire width of the lower 48 states of the USA as well as walking to South America. During this time, he earned a B.A. in Oregon, an M.A. in Montana, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in land management.

“During his monumental silent trek, Dr. Francis taught us the importance of listening, learning and being aware of our environment,” said Harry V. McKay Jr., Head of School, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School. “It is a privilege to have him address our students and event attendees. We look forward to hearing his reflections on his life experiences and his perspective on how we are all interconnected in such a way that we learn and teach each other.”

Francis is the author of Planetwalker: How to Change Your World One Step at a Time.

Science Symposium


In addition to Dr. Francis, Saint Andrew’s will host award-winning physician Mache Seibel, MD aka DocRock™, who will combine up-to-the-second health education with rollicking, catchy music to give Saint Andrew’s students the information and inspiration they need to stay healthy, happy, and productive. Dr. Seibel has been featured in People Magazine, Inside Edition, Discover Magazine, the Boston Globe and the New York Post and is regularly interviewed by major print, radio and broadcast media on a wide variety of health issues.

Over two dozen scientists, mathematicians, engineers and a broad range of experts will hold workshops during the Symposium to share their life’s work, what inspires them and what the future holds for their individual career paths. Through this interactive approach focused on real-world professionals, students learn to reflect on the career possibilities in science and technology and are encouraged to construct their own knowledge of the world around them.

About Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School
Founded in 1961, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School is a coeducational, pre-K through 8th grade day school. Saint Andrew’s offers a traditional academic program with enrichment in the areas of the studio and performing arts, physical education, foreign languages, technology, character development, and community service. The school aims to educate the whole student, developing as fully as possible the intellectual, spiritual, physical, and social capacities of each student. For more information visit http://www.st-andrews.org/.

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