TPCA Wins STEM Competition!

Brad Agee - Monday, May 02, 2016

TPCA Wins the STEM Engineering Competition at Metro State University!!

For the second year in a row, Twin Peaks Charter Academy (TPCA) won the STEM engineering competition at Metro State University Math Day. Congratulations to the team of Esther Xu, Isha Karki, Abby Jenkins, and Alaynah Penalosa.

Approximately twenty teams of high school students compete at MSU Math Day. The goal of the event is to encourage interest in math and science while fostering constructive competition among area high schools. Many schools from throughout the Front Range participate, and each brings up to three teams. Students compete in three subjects: geometry, engineering, and algebra.

In the geometry competition, teams of students work together to solve as many geometry problems as possible in 45 minutes. In the algebra competition, students work together to solve twenty timed algebra problems. These are not simple problems - Mr. Carsten, a TPCA math teacher, described many of the geometry and algebra problems as very challenging!

Finally, in this year’s engineering competition, students were provided with materials to transport a piece of clay as close as possible to a given spot on an adjoining table. The TPCA team chose to create a zip line mechanism rather than a catapult or throwing device. The team’s knowledge of engineering and efficient planning were essential because, as they explained, “there wasn’t enough of anything so we really had to plan how to use our limited supplies!”


“This is just one example of many activities that our students are engaged in, and I credit their teachers and the rigorous education we provide to prepare them for these unique events” said Joseph Mehsling the newly established Director of TCPA.

The entire team of students and teachers are already looking forward to next year’s competition.

TPCA is a tuition-free public K–12 school of choice in the St. Vrain Valley School District. We provide students with the foundations of virtue and character while building cultural literacy through a rigorous, content-rich curriculum in an encouraging environment. TPCA is centrally located in Longmont on Sunset between Boston Avenue and Nelson Road.

For more information about TPCA, please visit or contact:

Joseph Mehsling, Director, 303-772- 7286 or via email.
David Yu, Secondary Principal, 303-772- 7286 or via email.
Teal Maxwell-Richards, Elementary Principal, 303-772- 7286 or via email.
Kathy DeMatteo, President of the Board of Directors, 303-775- 6991 or via email.

Core Knowledge and the Science Sequence

Lynn Ingegneri - Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I love the marriage of Core Knowledge® content, and its sequence of units, with the classical pedagogy of understanding the grammar of a subject first, progressing on to using logic, and then culminating in expressing well-reasoned synthesis of a body of knowledge through rhetoric. As a former bioengineer, I really appreciate being able to teach the Core Knowledge sequence in 7th grade which begins with atomic structure and flows into chemistry, macromolecules of life, cells, organisms, genetics, the fossil record, and natural selection and mutation. This is the logical order of teaching science precept on precept. Other Colorado schools get the "cart before the horse" by placing cells and evolution in 7th grade and genetics and chemistry afterward in 8th grade. This suggests a compartmentalization of scientific ideas and deprives students of important foundations of science that are the grammar of the next topic. My students have the benefit of understanding the way life really works, can reason and give evidences for and against historic and present-day theories, and can articulate their ideas while integrating several branches of science in a fluid fashion.

Debbie Esterline
6th and 7th Grade Science