How to get girls to do better in science? Get them to feel more confident about themselves. A study in the journal Science looked at the impact that writing a self-affirming essay had on the performance of women in college physics classes. According to the paper's abstract, "The current study tested the effectiveness of a psychological intervention, called values affirmation, in reducing the gender achievement gap in a college-level introductory physics class. In this randomized double-blind study, 399 students either wrote about their most important values or not, twice at the beginning of the 15-week course. Values affirmation reduced the male-female performance and learning difference substantially and elevated women's modal grades from the C to B range. Benefits were strongest for women who tended to endorse the stereotype that men do better than women in physics. A brief psychological intervention may be a promising way to address the gender gap in science performance and learning."
Reference tool Mendeley has released a new citation-editor for Word plugin.
The Robotics Club at Franklin High in Portland, Oregon is looking for an staff advisor so it can keep its status as an official school organization. The Robotics Club has one asset -- its robot -- but it has a group full of kids eager to be part of the FIRST Robotics Competition. However, the high school has locked the members out of their meeting area until they have someone agree to mentor the group. It's ROBOTS, people, come on!
Just when you thought Google Earth couldn't get any more awesome, comes Google Earth 6 with added features for Street View navigation, 3D trees, and more obvious access to historical imagery.
Education philanthropy firm Startl have announced a prize for Open Educational Resources. In partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the $25,000 prize will award the best business plan that supports openly licensed content. Applications are due December 10.
In other news, I'm joining ReadWriteWeb full time as of December 1, which (I hope) means more education-technology coverage there. Also, a full-time salary means I can attend EduCon in January. Yay!