You are on page 1of 7

Science Glossary

absorb

to soak up or take in

affect

to influence or to cause a change in something

air

a mixture of gases that surrounds earth

amount

the quantity of something, or how much there is

axis

A straight line around which an object turns or is thought to turn

balance scale

an instrument for measuring mass

bone

part of the skeleton

cause

the reason something happens

cell

the smallest living part of an organism

centimeter (cm)

a metric unit of length equal to 1/100 of a meter

characteristic

a distinguishing feature or quality

chart

a list of information in a particular order

classify

to group organisms based on their similarities and differences

climate

the general weather of an area over a long period of time

color

color is what you see when light is broken up into parts. Red, blue and green are colors.

compost

a mixture of soil and decayed material that provides nutrients for plants

conclusion

an explanation of the results of an investigation

condensation

the process of changing from a gas to a liquid

condense

to change from a gas to a liquid as the temperature decreases

conserve

to store up, or keep from going bad or being wasted

consumer

an organism that gets energy by eating other organisms

conversion

change in character, form, or function

continent

one of seven large land masses on earth

cycle

a process that repeats itself in the same order over time

data

the pieces of information collected in an investigation, singular datum

data table

a chart made of columns and rows for recording information

decomposer

a living thing that gets energy by feeding on dead materials and wastes

decrease

to become smaller or weaker

demonstrate

to show how something works: to prove a point by giving examples

depend

to rely on especially for support or maintenance in a system

describe
design
diagram

to say what something or someone is like; the skill of developing a detailed picture,
image, or characterization using diagrams and/or words, written or oral
the way something is made or built; a thought out plan; to plan; the application of
scientific concepts and principles; the process of solving human problems
a simple drawing with labels that shows the parts of a system, often used to explain how
things work

diameter

the length of a straight line going from side to side through the center of a circle or
sphere

direction

the course in which a person or object is moving or the line they are pointing in

dissolve

a solid, liquid, or gas dispersing into a liquid to form a solution

Earth

the planet on which we live

earthquake

the sudden release of energy in the Earths crust

echo

a sound that is heard again after it bounces back from a surface

ecosystem

all the living and non-living things that interact with each other in an environment

effect

a result or outcome

egg

the first stage in the life cycle of many organisms

electricity

a form of energy that is produced when electrons move from one place to another place

energy

the ability to do work (light, sound, motion, electrical, heat, chemical)

energy of motion
(kinetic)

the movement of matter

erode

the breakdown of earth material

erosion

the movement of weathered materials by water, wind, ice

eruption

the explosion and spurting out of lava; the release of material into the atmosphere

evaporate

to change from a liquid to a gas

evaporation

the process of changing from a liquid to a gas

event

something that happens

evidence
explain

observations, measurements or data collected through established and recognized


scientific process
the skill of making a theory, hypothesis, inference or conclusion plain and
comprehensible

explanation

something that explains; a statement made to clarify something and make it


understandable

fair test

to honestly and justly try out something or check to see if it works

flower

the part where seeds are made in many kinds of plants

food chain

the path of food energy from one plant or animal to another in an ecosystem

force

to push or pull

forest

a thick growth of trees covering a large area of land

fossil

the prehistoric remains or traces of a plant or animal found in rock

freeze

to change from a liquid to a solid when temperature drops

friction

a force between two surfaces rubbing against each other

function

the job of a part of a system

gas

a state of matter that does not have a definite shape or volume

germinate

to sprout a plant from a seed

glacier

a moving mass of ice on land

gram (g)

the basic unit of mass in the metric system

graph

a drawing that shows the relationships between sets of data

grassland

A habitat characterized by an open, flat area covered by grasses but few trees

gravitational

the force of attraction between any two masses

gravity

the force that pulls objects toward each other

habitat

the environment where a species lives

hand lens

a tool with a special lens that makes objects seem bigger than they really are

hardness

the ability of a material to resist being scratched

heat energy

the energy of moving particles in a substance; also called thermal energy

identify

to name a plant, animal, or other specimen as a certain kind by comparing it with other
examples

increase

to make bigger; or to add more

inherited

a characteristic that is passed from parents to offspring

input

the addition of matter, energy, or information of a system; a change of matter or


energy in the system

invent

to make something or think of something for the first time

invention

something that has been invented

investigate

to search carefully for facts, knowledge or information about the natural world

investigation

the act of trying to find out all the facts about something; examine carefully; an
organized, scientific study of the natural world

investigative
question

the one question you ask when investigating a system in the natural world

kilogram (kg)

a metric unit for measuring mass, 1000 grams

kilometer (km)

a metric unit for measuring distance, 1000 meters

lava

melted rock that flows out of the crust onto earths surface

leaf

the plant organ where photosynthesis occurs to make food for the plant

learned
(acquired)
characteristic

characteristic that a person or animal is taught or learns from experience

less

a smaller amount

liquid

a state of matter that has a definite volume but no definite shape

liter (L)

the basic unit of volume in the metric system

living

alive not dead

logical steps

procedure that is sensible and repeatable

machine

a tool that makes work easier, usually by letting you use less force

magma

melted rock below earths surface

magnetic

to have the power to attract or repel materials

magnifying glass

a tool with a special lens that makes objects look bigger than they really are

mass

the amount of matter in an object or substance

material

matter which may be shaped or manipulated

materials

everything needed to conduct a scientific investigation

matter

the material, or stuff, that everything is made of: anything that has mass and takes
up space

measured
(responding)
variable

what is measured or observed in an investigation

melt

to change from a solid to a liquid

meter (m)

the basic unit of length in the metric system

mile (mi)

a measure of distance equal to 1,760 yards or 1.6 km

milliliter (mL)

a unit of length in the metric system, equal to .001 Liters

mineral nutrient

a natural substance such as iron, potassium and sodium, needed by an organism for
health and growth

model

a picture, idea, or object that represents an object or process

moon

a natural object that orbits a planet

more

bigger in number, size or amount

mountain

a landform that is much higher than the land around it

newton (N)

the unit of force in the metric system

non-living

never having been alive

observe

to watch somebody or something carefully; to see and notice something

observation

the act of watching somebody or something carefully: the skill of recognizing and noting
some fact or occurrence in the natural world

ocean

any of the great masses of salt water that surround the continents

orbit
(as a noun)
orbit
(as a verb)

an imaginary path followed by an object such as a spacecraft or planet as it moves


around a planet or star
the act of an object such as a spacecraft or planet following a path around a planet or
star

organism

a living thing

organize

to plan and prepare something in an orderly way; to put things in order

ounce

a measure of weight equal to 28.3 grams. There are 16 ounces in a pound.

output

the removal of matter, energy, or information from a system; a change of matter or


energy in a system

oxygen

the element that is needed by most organisms to live

part

any piece or portion of a system

particle

a minute portion, piece, fragment, or amount; a tiny or very small bit

pattern

a repeating design, series of events, or numerical sequence

photosynthesis

the process by which plants make their own energy (food)

pitch

how high or low a sound is

plan

in the design process plan includes the steps and the diagram to be used to solve a
human problem

planet

a large object that orbits a star

pollen

a powdery material in flowers that contains sperm cells

pollinate

to fertilize with pollen

pollution

anything in the environment that can harm living things or damage natural resources

pound

a unit of weight

precipitation

water that falls to earths surface as rain, snow, sleet, or hail

predict

to say what you think will happen

prediction

an idea about what will happen in the future

problem

a situation or challenge for which a solution is needed

procedure

an orderly and repeatable set of instructions for a scientific investigation

process

a series of actions for doing or achieving something

producer

a living organism that makes its own food, such as a plant

property

a characteristic of a substance

pull

a force to make something come towards the source of the motion

purpose

a plan, a reason for doing something

push

a force to make something move away from the source of the motion

question

what you ask when you want to find out about something

radius

the distance, a straight line, from the center of a circle to its outside edge

rate

A relationship between two measurements with different units (miles/gallon,


dollars/pesos)

recycle

to use the materials in old things to make new things

reduce

to make smaller

report

to relate or tell about

reproduce

to make more organisms of the same kind

reproduction

the process of making more organisms of the same kind

result

outcome

root

the part of a plant that holds the plant in place and takes in water and nutrients from
the soil

scavenger

an animal that feeds on dead organisms and garbage

scientist

someone who studies the natural world

sediment

bits of rocks, soil, sand, shells, and the remains of organisms

seed

a structure produced by a plant that contains a tiny undeveloped plant and a supply of
food for the plant

shadow

a dark area that forms when a light source is blocked

size

how big or small something is

skeleton

the framework of bones in an animals body

soil

a material made of tiny pieces of rock, minerals, and decayed plant and animal matter

solar

of or from the Sun

solid

a state of matter in which the substance has a definite shape and a definite volume

solution

an answer to a question or problem; a liquid in which something has been dissolved

solve

to find the answer to a problem

sort

to put things in order or arrange in groups according to their characteristics

sound

a form of energy produced by vibrating objects

speed (rate)

the distance an object moves per unit of time, such as miles per hour;
the measure of an objects change in position during a unit of time

spin (rotate)

the movement of going around and around

spring scale

a tool used to measure the force of gravity on an object

sprout

a new growth on a plant; to grow or come out

state of matter

a form that matter can take solid, liquid, or gas

stem

the part of a plant that holds the leaves up to sunlight and moves water, nutrients and
food through the plant

strength

the quality of being strong

structure

an arrangement of parts, something built; the way in which parts are put together or in
which something is made

substance

matter, or anything that has weight and takes up space

summary

a short account giving the main points

Sun

the star that is the center of our solar system

system

a group of things or parts that work together; the three main systems are living
systems, physical systems and Earth/space systems

table

a list of facts or figures, especially arranged in columns

telescope

a tool for observing distant objects

temperature

how hot or cold a thing is; the average speed of the particles in a substance

texture

the way something feels when you touch it e.g. rough or smooth

thaw

to change from being frozen solid to a liquid through warming; to melt

thermometer

a tool that measures temperature

tool

a hand-held instrument that you use to do a particular job

transfer

the movement of energy from one locations in a system to another system or subsystem

variable

anything that can be changed

variable changed
(manipulated)
variable kept the
same (controlled)

the one variable that is changed in a scientific investigation


all the variables that are kept the same in a scientific investigation

versus (vs.)

against

vibration

a rapid back-and-forth movement

volcano

a mountain built up from hardened lava, rocks, and ash that erupted out of earth

volume

the amount of space that an object or substance takes up

waste

unwanted or unused material

water cycle

the change of water from one state to another as it moves between Earths surface and
the atmosphere

water vapor

the gas phase of water

weather

the condition of the atmosphere at a place for a short period of time

weathering

a breaking down and wearing away of Earth material

weight

a measure of the pull of gravity on an object

wind

moving air
6.21.06