Conceptual Physics

Conceptual Physics students construct representations of physical phenomena using a modeling approach. They analyze the results of investigations to form mathematical and conceptual models and deploy them in problem-solving contexts. These skills are universal to science and will help them in subsequent science courses. Specific topics of study include: one-dimensional kinematics, interactions between forces and matter, conservation of energy, and waves.


Chemistry is a basic course of chemistry, emphasizing mastery of stoichiometry, lab skills, and experimental design. Students study topics such as modern atomic theory, thermochemistry, oxidation-reduction, kinetic theory, and solution chemistry. Requirement: Algebra I


Biology exposes students to many aspects of biology, from unseen forms of life to population mechanics. Students will explore natural processes through labs, scientific research, and logical reasoning in order to better understand the world around them.

Advanced Biology

Advanced Biology is a laboratory intensive science elective intended to further students’ knowledge and appreciation of selected topics from the introductory Biology course. Topics include cellular structure and processes, genetics, evolution, ecology, and biotechnology. Students explore these topics through readings, discussion, and hands-on activities and engage in more advanced laboratory techniques such as gel electrophoresis. Requirement: Chemistry and Biology

Advanced Chemistry

Advanced Chemistry presents chemistry at the college level, using Chemistry: A Molecular Approach (3rd ed.) by Nivaldo J. Tro, a college text for general chemistry. This text has extensive internet-based supplemental and tutorial materials. Students spend substantial time outside of class learning and drilling the material. Laboratory work is included and students are offered opportunities to participate in research, which may include interacting with the Chemistry Department at the University of the South. Each year students in this course prepare a Chemystery of Halloween show for area 5th graders. Requirement: Chemistry and Requirement or Co-requisite: Biology

Advanced Physics

Advanced Physics explores the behavior of matter as it moves, collides, slides, rebounds, and spins. We will study mechanics, waves, light, sound, electricity, and magnetism. Our explorations will include lab activities, problem solving, and real-world applications. Requirement: An 85 or above in Algebra II and Precalculus as a requirement or co-requisite

Introduction to Field Geology (Fall Semester)

Introduction to Field Geology capitalizes on our unique position on the Cumberland Plateau as an outdoor classroom. Through extensive fieldwork exercises, readings, reflections, lectures, and class discussions, students develop a deep understanding of the geologic features and processes that shape Earth’s surface and subsurface. An emphasis is placed upon understanding how the geology of Tennessee, specifically that of the Cumberland Plateau, influenced the human prehistory and history in our region. We utilize the many outstanding rock exposures on and near our campus for our field sites. Students maintain a scientific journal that incorporates field sketches, notes, field observations, laboratory exercises, and scientific reflection. Participants in the course should be prepared to hike and walk on a regular basis.

Environmental Science (Spring Semester)

Environmental Science focuses on major environmental issues including: climate change, pollution, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. The course will begin with a broader ecology unit, narrowing in focus to use our campus as a microcosm for larger scale environmental impacts. Through both simulation and field work, students will be tasked with testing soil, air, and water quality here on campus along with observing the biodiversity of both larger fauna and soil and water macroinvertebrates. Armed with a working knowledge of ecosystem health, students will create action plans and environmental impact statements for environmental issues that concern multiple stakeholders. This will be a field intensive course that utilizes the SAS campus as a living laboratory and addresses the multiple dimensions of environmental issues through use of case studies. Field work will be reinforced by readings and simulations along with review of case studies and town hall style debate.

Wade Hall for the Sciences

Wade Hall for the Sciences is a LEED Gold Certified facility co-designed by the SAS science faculty and Franklin Architects of Chattanooga to create the optimal space for science learning.

View Wade Hall Dashboard to see the building's energy use in real time.

Sustainable Design

In addition to providing a warm, fun, and engaging space for the study of the sciences, Wade Hall is an on-going experiment and learning tool.The building's green design elements include:

Solar orientation: Wade Hall is oriented to use the sun as a free source of lighting. The long axis of the building runs east-west providing natural light for the classrooms.
Thermal envelope: Advanced framing and insulating techniques, heat reflective roofing, and high-performance glass minimizes thermal energy transfer through the envelope of the building. This helps keep students warm in the winter and cool in the summer without too much need for air conditioning.
Embodied energy: Materials and systems with high recycled content and that are easily recycled and regionally-sourced keep the embodied energies* of the building low.
High efficiency HVAC: Natural ventilation and a high efficiency mechanical system provide heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC). This system provides a high level of individual control but uses a fraction of the energy of a traditional system. Windows open at occupant level and near the ceiling to allow hot air to escape and provide natural ventilation.
Indoor environment quality: Low-to-no VOC materials and finishes in the building reduce off-gassing and maintain a high level of indoor air quality. Visual and physical access to the outdoors is available throughout the building.
*Embodied energy refers to the energy bound up in a material as a result of factors such as growth, extraction, processing, manufacturing, packaging, transport and disposal.
Printable Brochure on Wade Hall's Sustainable Features

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