The Governor’s School for Tennessee Heritage began in 1984 as an initiative of the Tennessee Department of Education for talented and gifted high-school juniors and seniors. Originally all Tennessee Governor’s Schools provided non-credit, enrichment activities, but in 2005, the State mandated that they offer for-credit, college-level courses and expand to five weeks. 

Accordingly, this school was reshaped to emphasize the scientific aspects of Tennessee heritage and to include two college-credit courses. The name was appropriately changed to The Governor’s School for Scientific Exploration of Tennessee Heritage, and content was designed to provide unique field experiences, hands-on activities, and challenging academic opportunities that are not available in the standard high-school or undergraduate curricula.