Physics A

Why This Class

As complex as it seems, the physical world runs according to a simple set of natural laws. You want your student to be aware of these rules and how they impact daily life, in everything from transportation to global politics. This course helps by introducing your student to the mind-bending, reality-defining laws of physics.

Mentors in this course guide students to apply advanced math concepts including significant figures, scientific notation, unit conversions, radians, and trigonometry to investigate real-life physics problems. Students then explore questions involving vectors, acceleration, and Newton’s laws of motion. In class discussions and debates, they also dig into the physics behind social issues such as warfare, energy, and nuclear power, strengthening their critical-thinking skills in the process.

By completing this course, students gain an increased awareness of the ever-present influence of physics in their lives. They are more informed about how the world works—and more motivated to use that knowledge to make a positive impact.

Overarching Questions

How do triangles and trigonometry help solve physics problems?

What types of velocity and acceleration problems can I solve using vectors and trigonometry?

What does physics tell me about the threat of terrorism? About energy and nuclear weapons?

Why is a large force required to create a significant acceleration?

Why do the planets orbit the Sun?

Reading List

Physics for Future Presidents by Richard A. Muller

Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by its Most Brilliant Teachers by Richard Feynman

This course requires additional supplies. Please see the book list in SIS for details.

Course Details

Recommended Grade: 11th (Junior) – 12th (Senior)

Prerequisites: Recommended – High School Math 3 OR Algebra 2. Also Pre-Calculus A as corequisite.
With mentor permission – High School Math 2 OR Algebra 1  and Geometry

Estimated Weekly Hours: 5-7

Format: Live, self-paced

Credits: 0.5

Please contact our Customer Support Team at if you have questions.
Please note that program and course descriptions, as well as reading and materials lists, are subject to change as we continuously improve our curriculum throughout the year. Book and materials lists for the upcoming school year are published in SIS mid to late June. Some courses require subscriptions e.g., Adobe software or online magazines that may not be covered by partner schools.