Adler Planetarium

Adler STEM SMARTS Scholarship Program

Students doing an activity

Support Mentoring And Resources for Talented Students

Established to enable and empower future generations to participate in the 21st-century STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workplace, the Adler Planetarium’s STEM SMARTS scholarship program is designed to help reduce financial barriers for low-income, STEM-achieving students as they pursue their undergraduate degrees.

Up to three college-bound students will be selected to receive a scholarship award of $5,000 per year for up to four years. All program participants will be matched with a professional mentor in a STEM field and will be required to engage in active conversations and attend relationship-building activities and events with their mentors and Adler Staff.

Program Requirements

combh8612 - 030.jpg

Each eligible applicant should:

  • Be Chicago high school senior on track to graduate
  • Be accepted to and plan to attend an accredited, four-year college/university in pursuit of a bachelor's degree
  • Have demonstrated interest in STEM through participation in out-of-school STEM activities such as after-school clubs, volunteering or internship at a STEM institution, independent extracurricular research, earning badges in STEM youth programs, and/or similar activities
  • Have demonstrated academic achievement by grade point average in STEM classes and overall GPA
  • Have demonstrated financial need greater than or equal to the annual grant amount of $5,000
  • Have demonstrated involvement in the Adler's youth community

Adler STEM SMARTS Scholars will be expected to:

  • Take classes in STEM-related subjects for major/minor credit
  • Attend Adler STEM SMARTS events during school break
  • Submit transcripts and progress reports to appropriate partner organization
  • Engage with peers, partnership staff, and STEM mentors
  • Represent the program to the broader community

Application Process

Scholar applications will not be considered without the submission of: 

  • A completed online pre-application form
  • A current, official high school transcript
  • A copy or scan of applicant's letter of acceptance to chosen college/university
  • A copy or scan of the first page of applicant's FAFSA report (SAR) 
  • Applicant's resume
  • A 500- to 750-word essay
  • Two letters of recommendation

Stay tuned for information for 2015 scholarships. Questions? Please email

Additional Information  

Questions? Please email

The Adler STEM SMARTS Scholarship Program is made possible through the generous support of individual donors to the Adler Planetarium.