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Tennessee Governor's Academy


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Academics » Modules


In an effort to keep the educational experiences at the Tennessee Governor's Academy diverse and interesting, mini-courses called modules were offered during non-traditional school hours. Modules lasted approximately one month and their topics varied greatly. Modules often required fieldtrips and world-class guest speakers.

Topics varied year to year, but some example Modules include:


Students read Death's Acre, by Dr. Bass, afterwhich, forensic anthropologist Jonathan Bethard discussed a variety of topics including age identification, sex identification and cause of death. A laboratory experience and a mock crime scene investigation allowed students hands a hands on connection to their studies. A field trip to the Gray Fossil Site in Gray, Tennessee provided additional investigations into bones in Tennessee.

Geology of 1-40

The geology and geography of Tennessee are about as diverse as can be. With the Smoky Mountains in the east and Mississippi flood plain in the west, Tennessee's unique shape allows for more than 500 million years of planetary evolution to be studied at Tennessee's surface. Caves and exposed cliff walls allow for even more detailed study. Author Harry Moore and Professor Ted Labotka give TGA a detailed look into Tennessee's Geology, before the students embark on a road trip to see it for themselves.

In 2008, some our our students made a blog of the road trip. Check it out for yourself.


Everyone needs to have a basic understanding of how cars work, and TGA students are no exception. Students studied the inner workings of cars and how different engines work. Mike Lesmerises, a specialized mechanic and owner of National Auto Warehouse, came to talk about Bio-Diesel and show off his car that runs on used vegetable oil. The students also changed a tire and jumped a car (in the cold) to make sure they deserve their drivers liscenses.


After almost two years of studying Mandarin Chinese, TGA and the senior class saw it fit to go to China for a spring break adventure. The pre-trip module included discussions about culture, food, the history of the Great Wall, and the Tiananmen Square incident.

Check out the photo blog for the China trip.


The Tennessee Governor's Academy will begin its 2009-2010 school year with a short module on the meaning of the term success.  As part of their summer reading assignment, each TGA student read Malcolm Gladwelll's book Outliers: The Story of Success.  The students will focus on the content of the book, discussing the historical, personal, and intellectual factors that contribute to the concept of success.  Students will then relate information from the reading to their personal lives, discussing what has contributed to their success and how they can continue down this path through their experiences at TGA. 

Civilizations and Communities


Wars and Genocides