Because a student can attend the co-op for three years, the science courses run on a three-year cycle: Earth Science/Astronomy, Physics/Chemistry, and Biology.

Earth Science/Astronomy:  After some introductory general science and skills practice, we will “consider the heavens” by studying Earth’s place in the universe. We’ll look at things that are beyond Earth’s atmosphere, and how those things are “arranged”. We will study some of the things that show Earth was perfectly designed for life. Then we’ll study ways we view, describe, and measure the Earth, Earth materials, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the processes that occur in and across those spheres.

Physics/Chemistry: As we study the big ideas of physics and chemistry, students will learn about motion and force, Newton’s laws of motion, circular motion, momentum and impulse, torque and angular momentum, universal gravitation, energy and work and machines, heat and thermodynamics, fluids, waves, sound, light, electricity, magnetism, the atomic model of matter, the periodic table, two types of chemical bonding, mixtures and solutions, chemical reactions, balancing chemical equations, and gas laws.

Biology: In this course, we will study ecosystems, taxonomic classification and some individual organisms, the chemistry of living things, cellular biology, genetics, and the evidence for and against evolution.

Texts: There are no student texts for the science classes. Students take notes, make drawings/diagrams, and work through various activities to create their own science notebooks.

To prepare the courses, I have consulted these resources:

  • Earth Science (Tarbuck, Lutgens, and Tasa)

  • The New York State Regents Earth Science Exam

  • Conceptual Physics (Hewitt)

  • How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life (Bloomfield)

  • Physics (Hausmann)

  • Conceptual Chemistry (Suchocki)

  • Chemical Principles (Masterton)

  • On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (McGee)

  • CPO Life Science (Eddleman, Eldridge, Carabatsos, McAllister)

  • Biology Today and Tomorrow (Starr)

Homework: There will be homework assignments, though rarely every class period. Students will need to study for quizzes and tests.

The goal: My hope is that the students will come to know that our planet is beautiful and was carefully designed for life, that all matter – even the smallest atom – is subject to rules that we can discover and understand, and that all living things are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Signal Mountain Christian Cooperative

P.O. Box 784, Signal Mountain, TN 37377

Contact:  Doris Southerland

Phone: 423-313-1379



The Signal Mountain Christian Co-op admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.