The New York Times Annual STEM Writing Contest

The New York Times Annual STEM Writing Contest invites students to choose an issue or question in science, technology, engineering, math or health, then write an engaging 500-word explanation

Competition Details

Introduction: The New York Times Annual STEM Writing Contest invites students to choose an issue or question in science, technology, engineering, math or health. Then, students will write an engaging 500-word explaining it to a general audience to help them understand and engage them in the topic. 

Contest Guidelines:

  1. Choose a STEM topic you care about. It could be a topic you already know a great deal about and want to explain to others, or something you’ve never thought about until now.
  2. Make sure your topic is narrow enough that you can cover it well in 500 words or fewer
  3. Do research, and cite your sources. At least one of your sources must be from The New York Times, Science News or its sister site, Science News Explores. Students can choose to interview experts or survey relevant audience for the essay. 
  4. But be very careful to put quotations around any direct quotes you use, and to cite the source of anything you paraphrase
  5. Students will have to provide a research and writing process. While the judge won’t use what you write in this section to select finalists, it would give the judges a better picture of your writing decision and your research process

Contest Rubric: here

Prizes: The contest will announce the winner about two months after the contest. Winners will having your work published on The New York Times Learning Network

Competition Website: For more information about the competition, click here.

Aralia students won 3 prizes in The New York Times Summer Reading Contest


This contest is open to students ages 13 to 19 who are in middle school or high school around the world. College students cannot submit an entry. However, high school students (including high school postgraduate students) who are taking one or more college classes can participate. Students attending their first year of a two-year CEGEP in Quebec Province can also participate. In addition, students age 19 or under who have completed high school but are taking a gap year or are otherwise not enrolled in college can participate. The children and stepchildren of New York Times employees are not eligible to enter this contest. Nor are students who live in the same household as those employees.

Contest Date

Jan 18 to Feb 15, 2023

Our Teaching Methods

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After registration, your assigned teacher and course consultant will go over course expectations, personal goals, and course plans.

Expert teachers

Aralia's instructors are teachers from top-ranking high schools and colleges across the United States. They will help you cultivate the skills and knowledge needed for college and future career

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With the combination of personalized curriculum and years of teaching experience, you are set to achieve your personal and professional success

Students who previously took the class:

Throughout the years, our students have successfully gained admission or are currently attending top-ranking secondary and high schools around the world: America, Australia, Canada, China, and more:

  • Cardigan Mountain School
  • Choate Rosemary Hall
  • Concord Academy
  • Groton School
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