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New York Times STEM Writing Contest

Are you fascinated by topics in science, technology, math, engineering, or health? Do you find yourself liking to enlighten or amuse others with what you know about these STEM topics? If so, the upcoming New York Times' STEM Writing Contest is for you. You can choose an issue or question in science, technology, engineering, math or health that interests you, then write a 500-word explanation that will engage and enlighten readers.

Why should you participate?

STEM writing is becoming a staple of high school STEM education, particularly at competitive schools. Students are expected to review, synthesize, and present facts and findings in a clear and concise manner. So, this writing contest is an excellent opportunity to stretch your intellectual muscles by exploring something fascinating to you and sharing it in a way that is engaging and easy to understand. You will not only improve your STEM writing as well as writing in general, but also improve your reading comprehension of scientific articles -- an essential skill to ace the SAT or ACT reading section. For high school students, this contest will be your opportunity to stand out in your future college application which is becoming more competitive each year!

How Peninsula Academy will help you?

Our STEM writing camp from Jan 17 to Feb 14 will help you write a stellar piece for this contest. Our camp includes five 2-hour sessions on the weekends. We will guide you how to write technical or scientific knowledge for a general reader and how to communicate facts and research in a way that is engaging and enlightening. Equally important, we will also teach you steps and strategies to edit your essay. Can't think of a topic? We will brainstorm with you, from why we are addicted to our phones, how bacteria may help us fight cancer, to how architects build beautiful things in the world's harshest environments, and the possibility is limitless!


Cris and TJ will be your coaches. Cris earned his bachelor's degree in English literature at UC Berkeley and his master's degree in English and creative writing from NYU, where he was a New York Times fellow. Cris has worked as a writer and editor for many prestigious institutions and magazines, including the New York Times, BlackRock, TCW, and Deutsche Bank. Cris has also taught both AP English Language and AP English Literature as well as SAT reading and essay writing. . ​

TJ has master’s degrees in biochemistry and public policy from UCSF and Columbia University, respectively. TJ has been tutoring and teaching STEM subjects at Peninsula Academy for over ten years, and has accumulated an intimate knowlege of the STEM curriculum of high schools around the South Bay. TJ is known to be incredibly resourceful and has the ability to relate to students of different learning preferences and backgrounds

Note that if consider yourself an advanced writer who doesn't need this systematic training camp, we will connect you with Cris and TJ for private coaching and editing sessions. 

Who can participate?

Any middle and high school students. 

When and how to submit?

Any time from Jan 19 to March 2 on the New York Time's submission portal. 

Questions?! We're happy to help:  
For English, Doreen 310-408-4188 
For English and Korean, Kay 310-989-7557
For Chinese, Annie 424-394-6362 
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