Spring 2014 Newsletter - by Tom Nelson, Executive Director

The Lyceum has had another wonderful year. Last fall we presented our new event for Monterey County's young women, Expanding Your Horizons (EYH). EYH encourages young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. It provides STEM role models and hands-on activities for middle and high school girls. Its ultimate goal is to motivate girls to become innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st century challenges. 

 Our three year funding commitment from Chevron Corporation's Eagles for Education Program enabled us to run and expand this event. It was held on November 23rd at Hartnell College for 270 girls, thirty teachers and twenty parents. This fall it will be held on Nov.22...keep your eye on our website - Lyceum.org for registration and volunteering opportunities.



Square Foot Gardening

Under the leadership of Sharon Nelson and two gardening experts, Lynn Hamilton and Linda Kamrath, the Lyceum back yard has been transformed into a working garden and native plant habitat. The front yard holds a raised bed and square foot boxes featuring seeds from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Gardens.

Preparing Digital Memoirs

Preparing Digital Memoirs

Digital Storytelling for Seniors

In cooperation with the University of California at Santa Cruz and The Central Coast Writing Project we have trained four teachers in the Digital Story Telling process. This program is currently being taught at the Carmel Foundation. Using the Photo Story Program, the participants produce a short, narrated video vignette from a significant life memory. Finding for this is from the Arts Council for Monterey County.



Hidden Careers Program

Last year we hosted several medical themed panels for high school students, coordinated by Lyceum Board member Elaine Herrmann.

This spring, the focus is agricultural technology careers with presentations by experts in robotics, remote sensing and other unusual agricultural careers. The event was held for over seventy high school students at the Alisal Campus of Hartnell College on April 23, and was a great success!

Mock Trial teams present their cases to real Judges!

Mock Trial teams present their cases to real Judges!

Mock Trial

Six local high schools competed this winter.  They tried a murder and illegal search case: The People vs. Rocha.   The students represented all aspects of a typical courtroom:  attorneys, witnesses, expert testimonials, bailiffs, court reporters and artists. The competition was intense and lively.  Pacific Grove was this year's winner for the third year in a row and represented Monterey County at the State Mock Trial event.

Natalie Lobo and Helen B. Rucker in front of Natalie's winning exhibit.

Natalie Lobo and Helen B. Rucker in front of Natalie's winning exhibit.

History Day

On March 8th Los Arboles Middle School in Marina hosted the event. We had hundreds of students completing various projects related to this year's theme, Rights and Responsibilities. Websites, research papers, dramatic portrayals, exhibits and documentaries were judged by over thirty volunteers from throughout the county. 

Winners went to the State Finals in Riverside last weekend. Lyceum Board Member, Lucille V. Standifer arranged for the event at Los Arboles. She was also a judge at the state finals. The Helen B .Rucker Civil Rights Award was won by Natalie Lobos. The Monterey County Office of Education is our co-sponsor.

Students address global trafficking issues.   

Students address global trafficking issues.


Model UN

Our inaugural High School Model United Nations was held on October 6th, 2013.  We had seventy high school students from Santa Catalina, Pacific Grove, York School and Bellarmine Preparatory.  The event was a huge success.  Students addressed the various forms of world trafficking as the theme in three groups led by MIIS Student leaders.  

Our closing ceremony featured Dr. Michael Freeman of NPS's Defense Analysis Program who spoke of his experiences related to trafficking in South America.  His talk was translated simultaneously by MIIS Translation and Interpretation students into three languages.  The students were able to monitor these in Chinese, Russian and Spanish. 

iLead+Design - a community action studio

Fifteen high school students and team of three teachers (Sean Raymond Academic Dean at York School, Aaron Eden of Stevenson School and Bob Cole of MIIS) focused on producing solutions for three community partners (SPCA, Surfrider Foundation and the City of Monterey). Videos of this can be seen here.

 This summer the program will run from June 16-27 at MIIS. We will be working with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and two other community partners. Registration is open and limited to eighteen participants.  Learn More & Apply!

Cyber Adventures for Salinas Union High School District

This computer science camp is being offered to middle school aged girls at the Alisal Campus/Technology Center of Hartnell College from July 21-26. The camp will feature computer programming, cryptography, robotics, and application design in a hands-on and fun filled and age appropriate environment. The class is taught by experts in their fields, along with high school and college aged mentors.  Limited to twenty participants.

Spanish Intensive

Participants in this 2-week Spanish summer enrichment program will actively use the language to explore topics from across the curriculum, from children's literature to geography to simple science experiments.  They will express their understanding and use of Spanish through movement, art, role-play, storytelling and projects.

Art Camps

Summer is filled with a great selection of art related camps.  Digital Photography for High School and Middle School kids, Indoor/Outdoor painting and sketching, 2D kite making and flying, Healthy Cooking, and Recycled Art. Register now, as space is limited.

Space Adventure Camp


2014 marks the fifth year of Space Camp.  The children meet a NASA Astronaut, tour the Ching Planetarium, visit the Chabot Space Museum, and the Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy (MIRA) while learning about our amazing, expanding universe!  

Lyceum Upgrades


Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were able to upgrade three computers and our server. Most of our equipment was at least 12 years old, and ran Windows XP which became unsupported by Microsoft in April of this year. With the end of that support, the lack of security and technical support would have become an issue.  We made a smooth transition to an updated secure network in early April, making our work time more efficient, and projects more contemporary and fresh.  

The physical look of the Lyceum remains as a classic 1915 bungalow, but past efforts to improve the interior need considerable up-dating. The mosaic below provides an overview of the need to refresh and renew (plus a nostalgic look at 1970's decor... ). Our plan involves flooring replacement with a more functional flooring (carpets not withstanding the years of summer art camps, and gardening projects). The new laminate floors will be cleaner and easier to maintain. Please consider helping us with this project. I'll be addressing the Rotary Club next week, which offers matching funding for capital projects such as this. The cost will be about $6000 to do the floors and replace the sinks and vanity.  Make a Tax Deductible Donation!

Old Floors
Old Carpet
Old Carpet