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AP Physics 1 (Intensive, NCAA Approved)

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Open to: Grades 9 - 12

Eligibility: Advanced CTY-level math score required

Prerequisites: Completion of Trigonometry

Course Format: Session Based. See calendar for session dates and application deadlines.

Course Length: 12 weeks (Winter, Early Summer, Mid-Summer)

Recommended School Credit: One academic year

Student Expectations: Students are strongly encouraged to work an average of 15-20 hours per week for intensive 12-week sessions with no breaks.

Course Code: IPH1

Course Description


The course provides students with an introductory experience in the concepts and methods of physical analysis, focused on classical mechanics and simple electrical circuits.  Building the ability to reason qualitatively and quantitatively is a primary focus, with inquiry and investigation, modeling and diagramming, symbolic algebra, unit analysis, communication and argumentation, laboratory techniques, data analysis, and integration and application of concepts as emphasized skills.

Students have the primary responsibility for building understanding, with the instructor as a resource and guide. Students will spend instructional time engaging with the textbook, online lecture videos, simulations, online discussions, hands-on labs (constituting 25% of instructional time), problem-solving screencasts, online homework problems, and tests/exams. This course has synchronous virtual class meetings and students may also schedule one-on-one virtual meetings directly with the instructor to answer questions or concerns. The instructor will schedule meeting dates/times at the start of the course after polling student availability. Meetings will be recorded for students who are unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.

Major course themes include:

  • Kinematics
  • Dynamics
  • Circular Motion and Gravitation
  • Energy
  • Momentum
  • Simple Harmonic Motion
  • Torque and Rotational Motion
  • Electric Charge and Electric Force
  • DC Circuits
  • Mechanical Waves and Sound

This course includes a laboratory component designed to meet College Board standards and has been reviewed and approved by the College Board. Hands-on labs require a materials kit that also must be purchased separately by the student.

AP Physics 1 is the equivalent to a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics. This demanding course requires a substantial time commitment during the entire session and should not be combined with other CTY courses.

A free, online placement test is available to determine if the student has the math skills needed to enroll in this course.

Virtual classrooms, and student activities in the classroom, may be recorded and added to the course as an ongoing asset for all class students to review. Videos from YouTube or other web providers may be present in this course. Video recommendations or links provided at end of videos are generated by the video host provider and are not CTY recommendations.

Materials Needed

Students must purchase access to FlinnPrep, and lab kit for this course:

Access to the eTextbook (College Physics by Serway, 11th edition) and corresponding WebAssign is included in the registration.

Detailed Course Information

Course Details

Unit 1: Kinematics

  1. Motion
  2. Motion Diagrams
  3. Using Graphs to Describe Motion
  4. The Kinematic Equations
  5. Vector Description of Motion
  6. Motion in Two Dimensions
  7. Two-Dimensional Kinematics
  8. Projectile Motion

Unit 2: Dynamics

  1. Overview of Forces
  2. Types of Forces
  3. Newton's First Law of Motion
  4. Netwon's Second Law of Motion
  5. Netwon's Third Law of Motion
  6. Free Body Diagrams
  7. Friction as a Force
  8. Problem Solving Strategy
  9. Analyzing Forces

Unit 3: Circular Motion and Gravitation

  1. Angular Position,Velocity and Acceleration
  2. Rotational Motion with Constant Angular Acceleration
  3. Relationship Between Linear and Angular Quantities
  4. Uniform Circular Motion
  5. Centripetal Acceleration
  6. Universal Gravitation
  7. Calculating Free-Fall Acceleration
  8. Gravitational Force
  9. Orbital Motion

Unit 4: Energy

  1. Overview of Work and Energy
  2. Work
  3. Kinetic Energy and Work
  4. Potential Energy
  5. Conservative and Non-Conservative Forces
  6. Conservative Forces and Potential Energy
  7. Energy Graphs
  8. Conservation of Mechanical Energy
  9. Power

Unit 5: Momentum

  1. Momentum and Impulse
  2. Momentum of a System of Particles: Momentum
  3. Collisions and Momentum
  4. Inelastic Collisions
  5. Elastic Collisions
  6. Collisions in Two Dimensions
  7. Problem-Solving Techniques with Momentum

Unit 6: Torque And Rotational Motion

  1. Rotational Motion
  2. Torque
  3. Center of Mass
  4. Rotation Of Point Masses About A Fixed Axis
  5. Rotational Kinetic Energy
  6. Angular Momentum
  7. Work,Power and Energy
  8. Rolling Motion

Unit 7: Simple Harmonic Motion

  1. Overview
  2. Overview of Simple Harmonic Motion
  3. Values Related to Simple Harmonic Motion
  4. Restoring Forces
  5. Energy in Simple Harmonic Motion
  6. Circular Motion and Simple Harmonic Motion
  7. Mass-Spring System
  8. Simple Pendulum
  9. Damped Harmonic Oscillator

Unit 8: Mechanical Waves and Sound

  1. Wave Motion and Propagation
  2. Wave Interference and Standing Waves
  3. Waves on Strings: Speed of a Wave
  4. Energy Transmitted by a Wave
  5. Sound Waves
  6. The Doppler Effect
  7. Resonance
  8. Beats

Unit 9: Electrostatics

  1. Properties of Electric Charge
  2. Charging Objects
  3. Conductors and Insulators
  4. Coulomb's Law
  5. Multiple Charge Configurations
  6. Electric Fields

Unit 10: DC Circuits

  1. Electric Current
  2. Resistance
  3. Ohm's Law
  4. Electric Power
  5. Resistors in Series
  6. Resistor in Parallel
  7. Kirchhoff's Laws

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Technical Requirements

This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.

Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom which can be used for instructor-student communication if the student has any questions about the course or curriculum. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch any recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.

This course uses Respondus LockDown Browser proctoring software for designated assessments. LockDown Browser is a client application that is installed to a local computer. Visit the Respondus website for system requirements.

While Chromebook can be used to progress through the course, all exams must be completed on a PC or Mac.