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Make It Matter Scholarship
Campers at Make It Matter Camp 2019 looking at an experimental component.

In partnership with Science-U, Penn State’s Center for Nanoscale Science has created a scholarship opportunity for motivated high school students from diverse backgrounds to attend Make It Matter, June 28 - July 3, 2020.  To learn more about the Center for Nanoscale Science as a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), please visits its website at Applications are due January 10th, 2020!

Center for Nanoscale logo

Make It Matter Camp Description:

Dates: June 28 - July 3, 2020      9:00 am - 4:00 pm      Day & Residential Spots      Grades 9-12

Creating a sustainable world for ourselves and for future generations really matters! Scientists and engineers have a huge role to play in building a sustainable future, and in this camp you'll see how researchers in fields ranging from materials science to chemistry and biology make a difference by designing new materials, inventing new ways to create and store energy, studying how to protect our ecosystems, and much more!  Through lab visits, field trips, demonstrations, leadership activities, and hands-on science challenges, you will be inspired to think about how you can harness the world-changing possibilities of science and engineering in entirely new ways!  Join us for an unforgettable experience focused on making sustainability matter!

(Note: The first full day of camp is Monday, June 29th, but all campers will check in for an opening ceremony the evening of Sunday, June 28th.  Also, high school camps with residential spots may have evening activities scheduled that are open to and recommended for all campers! These evening activities will be communicated to registered campers as soon as possible and flexible arrangements can be made for day campers if they are unable to stay for evening activities.)


Scholarship Selection Criteria:

  • Entering 9th through 12th grades in the Fall of 2020
  • Sincere interest in learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math (STEM)
  • Passion for sustainability
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Demonstration of a positive attitude and strength of character
  • Motivation to learn and academic effort

This scholarship program seeks to attract individuals who value diversity and inclusion.  Applicants from populations that are underrepresented and/or underserved in STEM are encouraged to apply.


Scholarship Deadline:

  • All materials are due by January 10, 2020.
  • Scholarship applications will be reviewed by the Make It Matter Scholarship Committee.
  • Applicants will be notified by January 27, 2020 which is before Science-U registration opens on February 5th, 2020 at 10:00 am.

Instructions for Applicants:

1. Complete the Application Form (available below), which includes a 1-2 page essay, and submit by January 10th, 2020 as described below. The 1-2 page essay must answer the following questions:

  • What areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) interest you the most and why?
  • What does sustainability mean to you, and why does it matter? 
  • Why is it important to have diversity and inclusion in STEM? How have you contributed to diversity or included others in your school?

Please use specific examples to illustrate each of your answer. 

If using the fillable PDF version of this form, please remember to save the completed form with a new name so that your information is saved! For more helpful suggestions on completing fillable forms, see the bottom of this page. 


2. Ask a teacher from a previous or current science, mathematics, engineering, or technology class OR a STEM mentor (adult who you have worked with in a STEM club or activity, excludes family members) to complete the STEM Teacher/Mentor Recommendation Form (available below).  (Remind them to submit before the January 10th, 2020 deadline!)

If using the fillable PDF version of this form, please remember to save the completed form with a new name so that your information is saved! For more helpful suggestions on completing fillable forms, see the bottom of this page. 


3. Submit your Application Form and essay by January 10th, 2020 in one of the following ways:

  Mail: Science-U Summer Camp Program         

          Make It Matter Scholarship Committee

          201 Ritenour Building

          University Park, PA 16802


Fax:  (814) 865-0096


For paper application forms, questions, or more information, contact the Science-U office at (814)865-0083 or 


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Quotes from past scholarship recipients:

This program has given me a chance to see what college life will be like … and it has allowed me to spend my summer learning more about different sciences. – 2019 Scholarship Award Winner

thank you for giving me the opportunity to get to know more about the STEM field and spend part of my summer at Penn State... - 2019 scholarship award winner 

Follow these steps to complete a PDF Fillable Form:

1. Download and Install Adobe Reader Software.

To access, view, download, complete and print fillable forms you will need to use the latest Adobe Reader. Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free and can be downloaded from if your computer does not have it currently. Follow the instructions from Adobe to properly install the software.

2. View the Form, then Save it to your computer.

Click the button or website link that leads to the form. When it is open, select the “Download” or “Save” icon. You might be given the opportunity to choose where to save your PDF form. If you are not able to choose the folder location, it will be saved to your "Downloads" folder.

3. Open the Form and complete it

Locate the PDF file you saved in the last step in Windows and double click it to open. When the form is open, proceed to fill it out as required.

4. Save the PDF Form with a new name

When the PDF form is complete, save it as a new document with your last name in the title. (example: ApplicationForm_Science).  At this point you can attach the completed and saved document to an email and send it back for review.  Alternatively, you may print it to be mailed or faxed.