CXC Integrated Science exam guide: Section D: Forces

CXC Integrated Science exam guide: Forces

CXC Integrated Science Exam Guide

Section D- Transportation

General objectives of the section:

Candidates should demonstrate an understanding of:

1. The basic principals involved in motion on land and in water and flight through air and space;

The scientific principals of road safety practices;

3. The nature of the gravitational force;
4. The motions taking place within our solar system ; .

5. The characteristics of space;
6. Earth and air movements and their effects ;
7. The principals of conservation of mass energy and momentum;
8. The methods used in transferring energy.


Specific Objectives

Students should be able to:

Explanatory notes
Suggested Practical Activities


Discuss the principles of forces;

Action/reaction principle applied in space transport;

the forward motion of jet aircraft; relationship between shape of wings of planes and birds and lift forces they experience while moving through the air;

motion of vehicles, road surfaces and tyres;

the effects of wind speed and wind currents on the motion of aircraft

Action-reaction principles, for example, releasing an inflated balloon, using a pair of spring balances; demonstrate by blowing over strips of paper held at one end; use of ball on different surfaces;

use of paper aircraft models and fan)


describe gravity as a force;

Definition, centripetal and centrifugal forces;

the relationship between height of the center of gravity of an object and its stability; 

the implications for stability on the loading of vehicles in relation to their center of gravity;

reasons for maximum loading capacity and tare

Show how an object can escape the pull of gravity;

throwing a ball up and observing its motion;

releasing objects attached to suspended spring/ not attached to anything;

using models to demonstrate how an object can escape the pull of gravity if given enough kinetic energy by whirling around the head of a rubber band attached to a weak thread


define center of gravity

Conditions for equilibrium under parallel forces;

Use of cardboard cut-outs of triangles, rectangles, circles and irregular shapes to arrive at the approximate position of the center of gravity of objects of simple shapes;

items such as lead pencils, rulers and solids with regular shapes should be used to locate the center of gravity.


define stable and unstable and neutral equilibrium;

The characteristics of space and how problems affecting human life in space might be overcome.

Use of small ball, a concave/convex dish, or a cone shaped object and a flat surface to demonstrate the three types of equilibrium; use of  rule suspended by a spring balance and kept horizontal by known suspended weights to show that:

  1. the sum of the forces in one direction must equal the sum in the opposite direction
  2. the sum of the clockwise moments about a pivot must equal the sum of anti-clockwise movements
5. explain the term “satellite” Use of models to show how the planets orbit the sun


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