Students must be age 11- 19

Let us know which one you are interested in attending! We have professional training sessions that will guarantee you grow!! ●Click here to get more details

Available Contests ☟

One-Pager Challenge
DEC. 14, 2022-JAN. 18, 2023

Make a one-pager in response to any article published in The New York Times in 2022 or 2023.

STEM Writing Contest
JAN. 18-FEB. 15, 2023

Explain a complex and interesting science, math, engineering or technology concept to a general audience, using the Science Times column Trilobites as a model.

Vocabulary Video Contest
FEB. 15-MARCH 15, 2023

Produce a 15-second video about the meaning of one of our Words of the Day.

Editorial Contest
MARCH 15-APRIL 12, 2023

Write an editorial on an issue that matters to you.

Podcast Contest
APRIL 12-MAY 10, 2022

Make an original podcast of five minutes or less that informs or entertains listeners.

Summer Reading Contest
JUNE 9-AUG. 18, 2022

Tell us what you’re reading in The Times and why. Each Friday for 10 weeks we post a new invitation like this one, and you post a comment in response.

Ustar Prerequisites

1.All students will take a entrance writing assessment.
A personal narrative writing (200 words) is required and needs to be submitted to Each submitted writing will be graded and evaluated by Ustar Writing Team.Students will be assigned to NY prep classes or NY contestant classes based on their writing assessment placement.

2、$25 admission fee is required.

NY Prep Class Plan

What students will learn in this class:
All necessary writing skills
Students will be trained based on The New York Times contests rubrics and rules.
20 lessons per session

No deadline

NY Contestant Class Plan

What students will learn in this class:
Students will be trained based on The New York Times contests rubrics and rules.
1st and 2rd classes: Teacher breaks down rubrics and rules of all contests, teacher helps students choose the fittest contest to apply.
3rd and 4th classes: Teacher breaks down awarded sample writings with students and analyzes why and how they won. .
5th and 6th classes: Teacher helps students settle down on topics and forms of writing and works with students on outlines and structures. Teacher assigns first draft.
7th class: offline draft one writing+teaching grading (google doc)
8th class: zoom meeting
9th: offline draft two writing+teaching grading (google doc)
10th: zoom meeting
11th:offline draft three writing+teaching grading (google doc)
12th: zoom meeting 13:offline draft four writing+teaching grading (google doc)
14: zoom meeting
15: offline final draft+ teaching grading

● 备战队课程安排 ●

1 zoom class 讲解所有竞赛规则和写作要求
2 zoom class 学生选题
3 zoom class 往届得奖作品学习
4 zoom class 学生练习+老师指导
5 zoom class 学生定选题和写作形式
6 zoom class 老师确定第一稿内容和要求
7 offline +学生当天写完交第一稿。
8 zoom class: 老师第一稿指导
9 offline:当天交第二稿。
10 zoom class: 老师第二稿指导
11 offline 当天交第三稿。
12 zoom class: 老师第三稿指导
13 offline 当天交第四稿
14 zoom class: 老师第四稿指导
15: offline 当天交第五稿。 结课。

Total 15 lessons   Five drafts completed

Ms. Jennifer

English Teacher

Graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in English and Education. Studied abroad at Oxford University for one semester. I specialize in reading, writing, grammar, public speaking, vocabulary lessons, and ELA.  I am also TESOL certified and can teach EFL. 

Mr. Dustin

English Teacher

Mr. Dustin has taught English to students of all ages and skill levels from K-12 to adult professionals. He encourages his students to speak without the fear of making mistakes. His greatest joy is witnessing his students grow in their reading, writing and speaking skills over time. Mr. Dustin’s favorite teaching quote is, “Strive for progress, not perfection.”

Ms. Nerine

Reading Teacher

Over 20 years of in-school teaching experience!
Master degree in education
Warm, fun, loving, and disciplined teaching styles are well loved by students at Ustar!
Specialized at motivating young learners and delivering highly efficient learning!


English Teahcer

Teacher Amy has taught English Language Arts for over 26 years. She believes in making learning engaging, relevant, and challenging. Ms. Amy has a Masters degree in Educational Administration and Bachelors of Arts in English. She hopes that her passion for the subject as well as her experience as an educator will help to open the minds and doors of opportunity for students.

Mr. Christina

English/ Speaking/ Debate Teacher

Ms. Christina is from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has taught in California, Costa Rica and Mexico. Her experience spans over ten years, managing both small and larger groups of young students, both in-person and online. Ms. Christina creates engaging and interactive lessons for all students, according to their learning styles. She knows how to make learning fun!


English Teahcer

Over 12 years of teaching experience Ms.Niloofar is a multilingual instructor who taught English and French ,Turkish, Farsi to students in international schools and college. She has PHD degree teaching foreign language from California state university Sanjose and Cambridge TEFL teaching French and English as second language Ms Niloo is a skilled teaching of English language and literature.

Ms. Saima

English reading / writing K-3 grade

Ms. Saima has taught English to children for 16 years, and she loves watching young minds develop into wonderful readers and writers. Her job as a facilitator is to develop enriching, engaging lessons that stretch the thinking of all her young students.

Mr. Richard

English / Science History Teacher

Teacher Richard earned his BA in English Language and Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University in 2000. He has 10+ years teaching experience, taught English , science, history to students of all ages, from preschool to university to mature adult levels. Richard uses humor to promote a joyful and unselfconscious learning atmosphere. He understands that making mistakes and getting stuck are part of the learning process.