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Adler STEM SMARTS Scholarship Program

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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

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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

 **The application for Fall 2014 is now open! Full application instructions are available. Apply to be a STEM SMARTS Scholar by Friday, April 4, 2014.

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

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.