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  • Graduate student Kelsey Boyle, who is co-teaching (with Rebekah Silva), a tutorial course on DNA and cancer for the newly reinvented Chemistry 101. Photo/Caltech
    Graduate student Kelsey Boyle, who is co-teaching (with Rebekah Silva), a tutorial course on DNA and cancer for the newly reinvented Chemistry 101. Photo/Caltech
    Credit: Caltech
05/30/2017 10:52:27

Class Act: Chemistry 101

A newly reinvented class gives undergrads a low-stakes way to explore topics in chemistry.

As a chemistry major at the University of Minnesota, Kelsey Boyle kept a laser-like focus on her core classes, which left little room to explore the life sciences. Despite her interest, during her senior year, "I was afraid to take a biochemistry class because I didn't know if I had the background," she says. Looking back, Boyle—now a fourth-year graduate student in a bioinorganic chemistry laboratory at Caltech—says she wishes there had been more opportunities to explore different fields in college.

Boyle and fellow fourth-year graduate student Rebekah Silva have found a way to offer Caltech undergraduates just that kind of opportunity: a low-stakes way to explore topics in chemistry that pique their interest. The pair, both of whom hold student leadership positions at the Caltech Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach (CTLO), launched a reinvented course this spring: Chemistry 101.

Read more in Caltech magazine.