F=ma Basic

The F = ma Basic course introduces the student to physics. The mechanics topics required for the F = ma Exam will be taught from a beginner level. Any math topics needed beyond Algebra 1 will also be taught from the beginner level.

Target Competitions

Target Grades


Who should Take This Course

Course Prerequisites:

  • Mathcounts Year-round Advanced*
  • or Mathcounts Summer Camp*
  • or Algebra 1 equivalent

(* Indicates an Alphastar Academy course)

A scientific calculator is required and preferred over a graphing calculator.

Exam Weeks

Practice Exams will be given/solved.


There are weekly homework sets.


Lecture notes and problem solutions will be available on the learning management system (LMS).


F=ma Basic is a year-long course with the first half in the fall and the second half in the spring. F=ma Basic is also offered as a 3-week long Summer Camp with 15 instructional days.

As a year-long course:


1AlgebraWork & Energy Part 1
2TrigonometryWork & Energy Part 2
31-D Kinematics
Momentum Part 1
42-D KinematicsMomentum Part 2
5Dynamics Part 1Exam Week
6Dynamics Part 2 Rotations & Torque Part 1
7Dynamics Part 3Rotations & Torque Part 2
8Exam WeekAngular Momentum Part 1
9Circular Motion Part 1Angular Momentum Part 2
10Circular Motion Part 2Periodic Motion; Fluids; Error Propagation
11GravityExam Week
12Exam WeekExam Week

As a Summer Camp:


1Algebra; Trigonometry
4Circular Motion
7Work & Energy
8Momentum & Collisions
9Rotations & Torque
10Angular Momentum
11Periodic Motion; Fluids
12Extra Day
15Exam; Award Ceremony

High School Analog


AlphaStar CourseHigh School AnalogComments
F = ma BasicFirst-year high school physics course
F = ma AdvancedAP Physics 1 without DC CircuitsThough the curriculum is similar, F = ma Advanced problems are more challenging than AP Physics 1 problems.

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