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 Spring 2015 CTLO Newsletter

Filling the Great Teaching Void: Unusual Teaching Concepts

April 22, 2015
4:30-5:30 pm 
East Bridge 201

Traditional university academic courses are often based on lectures, homework sets, examinations, and occasional laboratory exercises, but they don't address key issues that are critical to professional success in science and technology. This seminar is focused on a number of unusual teaching concepts that are designed to fill this gap at both undergraduate and graduate levels. 
Find more information about this event at


CPET Seminar with Caltech Alum Professor Suzanne Kern

Keck Sciences (Claremont Colleges)
Thursday, May 14th, 2015   

Professor Suzanne Kern will join us to discuss her experiences as an educator and scientist, both as a visiting faculty member in the Keck Sciences department and at Caltech as a TA, RA, researcher, and head TA for Bi1 and Ch1. More details coming soon! 
**Both of these events may be used to fulfill requirements for
the CPET Certificate of Interest.**
CPET Certificate Programs Available!

In cooperation with CTLO, CPET (Caltech Project for Effective Teaching) is offering two tiers of certification in university teaching:
1. a certificate of interest and
2. a certificate of practice.

The interest program aims to inspire participants to develop as educators through the submission of reflective journal entries about topical seminars and workshops on teaching and learning.

The practice program expands on the certificate of interest by including a more comprehensive knowledge and support structure that can be applied by participants in refining and reflecting their teaching practice in numerous instructional contexts.

We are seeking interested individuals to helps us pilot the new Certificate of Practice Program!

If you are interested, please email CPET. More details about the programs can be found on the CTLO website.
Meet the new CPET
Co-Director, Kelsey Boyle

Hello everyone! I'm a second year graduate student in the Barton lab working on metal complexes that bind DNA. 

I aim to improve teaching at Caltech by helping students appreciate the accomplishments and progress they make throughout their coursework, however big or small.

In my new position of CPET co-director, I hope to continue to learn more and more about becoming an effective teacher and to become a resource for those who want to do the same!

Outside of lab, I enjoy making stained glass art, hiking, and playing with animals. 
The Best Part of Science Class....
with the Outreach Guys!

Q: What was the best part of science class?
A: Demos!

Come volunteer to run a demo at the Community Science Event on Monday, May 18th
Prof. Konstantin Batygin will be speaking on the topic of
Jupiter's Grand Attack
(a time Jupiter created a planetary moshpit by swinging around and flinging other planets into the Sun...making our Solar System look the way it does today)
and K-12 teachers will be 
collaboratively developing science lessons for their students!

We need your help, dear TAs,
 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm 
with astronomy and planetary sciences demos! 
Activity suggestions are always welcome!
Make a difference in our local schools!
Sign up today:


Psssst...Hey TAs…

Enjoy your teaching experience and want to keep your skills up after your TA tour of duty is complete?

You can keep sharing your science! 
  • Prepare a lesson and deliver it to a local K-12 class  
  • Volunteer to tutor veterans studying at PCC  
  • Partner with a local teacher to be the visiting scientist for a semester or school year 
  • Mentor local students 
  • Host a field trip to your lab  
  • Present a lesson at a summer science camp at Caltech 
We can connect you with eager audiences that would greatly benefit from your enthusiasm and expertise! 

Contact Mitch Aiken at   626-395-4641

We Are Here For YOU!

We can work with you or your group on all aspects of being a TA, such as:
  • teaching strategies
  • grading & assessment practices
  • balancing TA work with other responsibilities
  • classroom observations/recordings & feedback
  • mid-quarter/end-of-quarter student surveys
Please contact us at (626) 395-8427 or (626) 395-1299 for more information or stop by the 3rd Floor of the Center for Student Services.
Copyright © 2015 Caltech Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach, All rights reserved.