Skip Navigation

We are experiencing high communication volume. We thank you for your patience and ask that you call us at 410-735-6277 for faster service.

AP Physics 1 (Intensive, NCAA Approved)

Arrow image that is used as button to enroll in courses. Enroll in this Course

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, Spring, 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.

Major course themes include:

  • Kinematics
  • Dynamics
  • Conservation Laws
  • Rotation
  • Oscillations and Gravitation
  • Mechanical Waves and Sound
  • Charge, Current, and Circuits

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.

Proctor Requirements

Proctor Requirements

A proctor is required for this course if the student’s goal is to obtain a grade. Please review Proctor Requirements for more details.

Materials Needed

Students must purchase a required textbook and lab kit for this course:

Knight, College Physics: A Strategic Approach Technology Update, 3rd edition, with Mastering Physics. Pearson Addison-Wesley.
ISBN-13: 978-0134167831

AP Physics 1 Lab Kit

Detailed Course Information

Course Details

Unit 1: Kinematics

Representations of Motion

  • Graphical
  • Diagrammatic
  • Algebraic

1D Motion

  • Instantaneous and Average Velocity
  • Acceleration


  • Components
  • Addition
  • Magnitude and Angle

2D Motion

  • Projectile Motion
  • Relative Motion

Unit 2: Dynamics

Identifying Interactions

  • Normal Forces
  • Tension
  • Friction
  • Drag
  • Springs
  • Weight

Newton’s Laws

  • Inertia
  • Balanced and Unbalanced Forces
  • Free-body Diagrams
  • Net Force Equations


  • Inclines
  • Atwood Machines

Uniform Circular Motion

  • Velocity and Period
  • Centripetal Acceleration
  • Reference Frames

Unit 3: Conservation Laws

Linear Momentum

  • Isolated Systems
  • Center of Mass Velocity
  • Collision Types
  • Energy in Collisions


  • Graphical Analysis
  • Connection to Newton’s Second Law


  • Hooke’s Law
  • Mechanical Energy
  • Kinetic Energy
  • Gravitational Potential Energy
  • Elastic Potential Energy


  • Dot Products
  • Constant Forces
  • Conservative and Non-conservative Forces
  • Graphical Analysis
  • Work-Energy Theorem
  • Power

Unit 4: Rotation

Motion: Translation vs. Rotation

Angular Kinematics

  • Displacement
  • Velocity
  • Acceleration
  • Relating Angular and Linear Quantities

Rotational Inertia

  • Common Shapes
  • Parallel Axis Theorem

Energy in Rotation

  • Kinetic Energy
  • Conservation


  • Cross Products
  • Static Equilibrium
  • Dynamics

Angular Momentum

  • Vector
  • Conservation
  • Relationship to Torque

Unit 5: Oscillations and Gravitation

Simple Harmonic Motion

  • Period and Frequency
  • Amplitude
  • Graphs

Dynamics and Energy

  • Restoring Forces
  • Damping and Driving
  • Energy Conservation


  • Springs
  • Simple Pendula
  • Physical Pendula


  • Fundamental Forces
  • Inverse Square Law
  • Circular Orbits
  • Gravitational Potential Energy
  • Escape Speed

Elliptical Orbits

  • Kepler’s Laws
  • Angular Momentum
  • Energy

Unit 6: Mechanical Waves and Sound

Wave Motion

  • Medium
  • Wave Types
  • Wave Quantities
  • Wave Speed

Interference and Reflection

  • Superposition
  • Phase Change
  • Standing Waves


  • Resonance
  • Beats
  • Doppler Effect

Unit 7: Charge, Current, and Circuits

Static Electricity

  • Charges
  • Conservation
  • Coulomb’s Law
  • Conductors and Insulators
  • Induction

DC Circuits

  • Current
  • Potential Difference
  • Resistance
  • Power
  • Kirchhoff’s Laws

Back to top


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.

This course requires that the student use a web browser with the Adobe Flash plugin. Note that many tablets and handhelds (particularly the iPad) do not support Flash and cannot view the lessons.

Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom for discussions with the instructor. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students who are unable to attend live sessions will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch 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.