This year the Oswego branch of the American Association of University Women is again presenting its "GEMS - Girls Excelling in Math and Science" awards to eighth grade girls in the Oswego, Fulton and Red Creek School Districts. The "GEMS" program, established in 2000, recognizes eighth grade girls who have achieved an average of 90% or above in both math and science. The intent is to encourage girls to continue with math and science in high school and consider it in determining a career choice.
The program was initiated after an AAUW Educational Foundation funded study, "Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America" revealed that girls in elementary school show aptitude and interest in math and science, but tend to fall behind in these areas in middle school. The Oswego branch wanted girls to continue to both value and excel in math and science.