Physics A

Enrollment Message:

Unit 1 contains information about free graphing software to download to your computer; free graphing calculators can be found online. Students may be required to acquire several, common household items for completion of some lab activities.

This is the first semester in a two-semester course sequence. This course examines physics, the study of the world around us and the laws of nature that govern that world. The first semester of physics will cover key mathematics used in Physics, as well as the topics of motion (one dimensional and projectile motion), forces, Newton’s Laws, gravity, circular motion, collisions and momentum, work and energy. This is an algebra-based introductory high school physics class. A student who has completed geometry is well prepared for this course work. Prerequisites:  2 years of high school science AND completion of either Algebra 2 OR Algebra 1, plus Geometry

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to...

  • explain how metric conversions affect our daily lives
  • use the correct units and mathematical operations when conducting scientific experiments
  • explain how resultant vectors and displacement are related
  • identify the different methods used to calculate vectors
  • explain how vectors are used in navigation
  • understand the relationships between the different kinds of motion
  • explain why objects in free fall travel at a constant acceleration
  • explain how Newton's First Law of Motion relate to seatbelts
  • apply Newton's Laws to explain the motion of universal bodies in space
  • explain how Newton's Second Law of Motion applies to sports
  • identify types of forces that affect your life daily
  • explain some of the effects of frictional forces
  • explain how momentum is conserved in collisions
  • describe momentum and how it is conserved
  • explain the relationship between impulse and momentum
  • provide examples about the relationship between work and energy in society
  • explain how machines make work easier in our daily lives
  • identify how work used to produce the motion in simple and complex machines
  • explain the connection between torque and power
  • describe how machines and torque make work easy

Course Outline:

Unit 1: Introduction to Physics and the Mathematics of Physics

Unit 2: Vectors

Unit 3: Linear Motion

Unit 4: Newton’s Laws of Motion and Projectiles

Unit 5: Forces

Unit 6: Momentum

Unit 7: Work and Energy

Unit 8: Rotational Motion

Resources Included: Online lesson instruction and activities, opportunities to engage with a certified, online instructor and classmates, when appropriate, and online assessments to measure student performance of course objectives and readiness for subsequent academic pursuits.

Additional Costs: Free graphing calculators can be found online. Students may be required to acquire several, common household items for completion of some lab activities.

Scoring System: Michigan Virtual does not assign letter grades, grant credit for courses, nor issue diplomas. A final score out of total points earned will be submitted to your school mentor for conversion to their own letter grading system.

Time Commitment: Semester sessions are 18-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1 or more hours per day in the course to be successful. Summer sessions are 10 weeks long: Students must be able to spend a minimum of 2 or more hours per day, or about 90 hours during the summer, for the student to be successful in any course. Trimester sessions are 12-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1.5 or more hours per day in the course to be successful.

Technology Requirements: Students will require a computer device with headphones, a microphone, webcam, up-to-date Chrome Web Browser, and access to YouTube. Unit 1 contains information about free graphing software to download to your computer; graphing calculators can be found online.

Please review the Michigan Virtual Technology Requirements:

Instructor Support System: For technical issues within your course, contact the Customer Care Center by email at [email protected] or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Instructor Contact Expectations: Students can use email or the private message system within the Student Learning Portal to access highly qualified teachers when they need instructor assistance. Students will also receive feedback on their work inside the learning management system. The Instructor Info area of their course may describe additional communication options.

Academic Support Available: In addition to access to a highly qualified, Michigan certified teacher, students have access to academic videos and outside resources verified by Michigan Virtual. For technical issues within the course, students can contact the Michigan Virtual Customer Care by email at [email protected] or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Required Assessment: Online assessments consist of formative and summative assessments represented by computer-graded multiple choice, instructor-graded writing assignments including hands-on projects, model building and other forms of authentic assessments.

Technical Skills Needed: Basic technology skills necessary to locate and share information and files as well as interact with others in a Learning Management System (LMS), include the ability to:

  • Download, edit, save, convert, and upload files
  • Download and install software
  • Use a messaging service similar to email
  • Communicate with others in online discussion or message boards, following basic rules of netiquette
  • Open attachments shared in messages
  • Create, save, and submit files in commonly used word processing program formats and as a PDF
  • Edit file share settings in cloud-based applications, such as Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides
  • Save a file as a .pdf
  • Copy and paste and format text using your mouse, keyboard, or an html editor’s toolbar menu
  • Insert images or links into a file or html editor
  • Search for information within a document using Ctrl+F or Command+F keyboard shortcuts
  • Work in multiple browser windows and tabs simultaneously
  • Activate a microphone or webcam on your device, and record and upload or link audio and/or video files
  • Use presentation and graphics programs
  • Follow an online pacing guide or calendar of due dates
  • Use spell-check, citation editors, and tools commonly provided in word processing tool menus
  • Create and maintain usernames and passwords

Additional Information: None


School Level: High School
Standards: Next Generation Science Standards
NCAA Approved: Yes
Alignment Document: Document
Course Location:
NCES Code: 03151
MDE Endorsement Code: DE - Physics
MMC Minimum Requirements: Science - Chemistry/Physics/Anatomy

When Offered: _Internal Use Only

Content Provider: Michigan Virtual
Instructor Provider: Michigan Virtual

Course Type: Plus