Program Overview

AlphaStar Physics Program has year-round courses and winter/summer camps. The program aims to train students toward the F=ma Exam and the USA Physics Olympiad (USAPhO). For more information on these exams please visit American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Website.

Fall/Spring Courses

AlphaStar Physics Program has four levels in the Fall/Spring courses. Please click on the course name for further details, course curricula, and available sections.

  1. F=ma Basic
  2. F=ma Advanced/AP Physics 1
  3. AP Physics 2
  4. USAPhO Basic
  5. USAPhO Advanced

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Fall/Spring Courses Comparison Chart

Please click on the course links in the below chart to see further details, course curricula, and available sections of the course.

Course Name Target Grades Short Description Who Should Take Course Length
F=ma Basic 7-9 The F = ma Basic course introduces the student to physics. The mechanic’s 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. Course Prerequisites:
Mathcounts Year-round Advanced*
or Mathcounts Summer Camp*
or Algebra 1 equivalent
(* Indicates an Alphastar Academy course)
2 semesters
F=ma Advanced/AP Physics 1 8-11 The F = ma Advanced course introduces the more mature student to physics. All mechanics topics required for the F = ma Exam will be taught from an experienced beginner level. Math topics needed beyond Algebra 2 will be taught, including basic trigonometry.
The focus will still be on practice and problem-solving.
Course Prerequisites:
AMC 10/12 Year-round Basic*
or AMC 10/12 Summer Camp*
or F=ma Basic*
or Algebra 2 equivalent
or 1st-year high school physics course
or AP Physics 1 (or AP Physics C Mechanics)
(* Indicates an Alphastar Academy course)
2 semesters
AP Physics 2 9-12 This year-long course provides an accelerated coverage of all topics required for the AP Physics 2 Exam: thermodynamics, fluids, waves, optics, special relativity, modern atomic physics, electricity, and magnetism. AP Physics 2 is for students who have already studied mechanics and are ready to follow up with additional topics. The course is algebra-based; no calculus is used. Course Prerequisites:
F=ma Advanced*
or 1st-year high school physics course
or AP Physics 1
or AP Physics C Mechanics
(* Indicates an Alphastar Academy course)
2 semesters
USAPhO Basic 9-12 USAPhO Basic course assumes knowledge of mechanics and teaches in-depth all other required USAPhO Semi-final topics. Students who can solve around 17/25 questions on the F=ma in the time given
Students who have qualified for USAPhO
2 semesters
USAPhO Advanced 9-12 USAPhO Advanced course reviews all necessary topics required for the USPTO. The focus will be on practice and drilling. Students who can solve around 3/6 questions on the USAPhO in the time given
Students who are familiar with some of E&M, thermodynamics, waves, and relativity
2 semesters

Remarks

  • The F = ma exam tests only mechanics, about the level of Physics C Mechanics. The USPTO exam tests on mechanics as well as on electricity & magnetism, waves, optics, thermodynamics, special relativity, and atomic physics, approximately the level of Physics C E&M and Physics 2 combined.
  • Previously, the F = ma Advanced course was a one-semester course, but it is now a year-round course.
  • There is no calculus in any of the F = ma courses.
  • Beginning Summer 2019, both the F = ma Basic and Advanced courses will be offered as Summer Camps.

Winter Camps

AlphaStar Winter Physics Camp is a unique opportunity for interested and talented students to be prepared for Physics Olympiad.

It is a day camp focused on the F=ma test and consists of accelerated coverage of topics and special problem-solving techniques.

Please see the AlphaStar Winter Physics Camp page for further details.

Summer Camps

AlphaStar Summer Physics Camp is a unique opportunity for interested and talented students to be prepared for Physics Olympiad.

It is a day camp focused on F=ma and USAPhO tests and consists of accelerated coverage of topics and special problem-solving techniques.

AlphaStar Summer Physics Camp is 3-week long with 15 instructional days during weekdays.

Please see AlphaStar Summer Physics Camp page for further details.

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