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Abiotic: The nonliving parts of the environment

Absorb: Take up or take in; The sponge absorbs water well

Abundance: More than enough; a lot

Acceleration: A change in speed (or velocity)

Acid: A chemical that reacts easily with other substances and turns litmus paper red; less than 7 on the pH scale

Adaptation: A feature of an organism that helps it meet a particular need in its natural habitat

Adaptive radiation: The development of many different forms from a single group of organisms as they adapt to different environments

Advantaged offspring: Offspring that have characteristics which help them survive better than others

Advantageous characteristics: Characteristics that help an organism survive better than others

Aerobic: Meaning, happens with oxygen present

Agar: Substance used for growing bacteria or fungi

Agriculture: Using land to get food or to feed animals for human consumption (livestock)

Air mass: A large body of air that has the same characteristics throughout

Allele: One of the forms of a gene that is found in pairs on a chromosome; Some alleles are dominant over others

Alloy: A mixture of metals (and sometimes non-metals) which forms one metallic substance; Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper

Amino Acid: A molecule that joins with other amino acids to form proteins

Amplitude: The height of a wave

Anaerobic: Meaning, happens without oxygen present

Analogous structures: Parts of two species that serve the same purpose but have different bone (or non-bone) structures

Analysis: Using the results of an experiment to come to some conclusions about the experiment

Analyze: Think about the different parts of a problem or situation to figure out how it is related to the whole.

Anaphase: Phase of cell division where the chromosomes separate to either side of the cell

Anion: An ion that has a negative charge

Antibacterial: Anything that kills bacteria

Artery: Blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart

Asexual Reproduction: Reproduction that happens without sex; one organism creates one or more organisms

Assembly Line: Process used to put products together where every worker has one job that they perform repeatedly

Asteroid: An object made up of rock and metals which orbits the sun, mainly between Mars and Jupiter

Astronomy: Study of the stars, planets and other bodies in the universe

Atmosphere: The air surrounding a planet

Atom: The smallest unit of a substance that has all of the properties of that substance

Atomic Mass: The mass of a particular atom, usually the number of protons plus the number of neutrons

Atomic number: The number of protons in an atom

Atomic theory: A theory that says that all matter is composed of tiny indivisible and indestructible particles

Autotroph: Living thing that produces its own food

Bacteria: The kingdom of life which has no cell membrane or nucleus and is always unicellular

Base: A chemical that reacts easily with other substances and turns litmus paper blue; greater than 7 on the pH scale

Basic needs: The set of resources that are needed by all living things, commonly food, water, space and shelter

Best Practice: A commonly agreed way to perform a certain procedure or experiment

Bias: An influence in an unfair way; You are biasing my choice by telling me yours

Big Bang: The theory that the universe began suddenly from a tiny mass

Biogeochemical cycle: A way that a chemical element or molecule moves through both the biotic ("bio-") and abiotic ("geo-") parts of an ecosystem

Biological classification: Organization of how living things are related to each other

Biology: The study of living things

Biome: A region of the world that has a particular climate and unique plants and animals that live there

Biomedical engineering: Designing and redesigning devices for medicine and other biological applications

Biosphere: The part of Earth defined as all living material

Biotechnology: The study of the use of small organisms to help industrial processes

Biotic: Anything that is alive

Body cell: All of the cells in an organism not involved in reproduction

Bond: An electrical force that links atoms together

Brittle: Easily broken

Buffer: An area that serves as a natural boundary so that two populations don't interact; also, in chemistry, a compound or mixture that keeps pH neutral

Calorie: Measure of energy, usually contained in food

Cancer: Disease where cells grow in an uncontrolled way

Carbohydrate: An essential chemical in all cells that is broken down to form sugars; glucose, sucrose, lactose, galactose

Carbon cycle: The flow of carbon dioxide and oxygen throughout the Earth

Carbon Dioxide: Molecule made up of one carbon and two oxygens, produced by animals and other organisms; main contributor to manmade global warming

Carrying capacity: The most amount of a particular organism that can be supported by an ecosystem

Catalyze: To help to bring about

Cation: An ion that is positively charged

Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of all organisms

Cell differentiation: A process where cells change to perform different roles

Cell division: A process where one cell becomes more than one cell

Cell membrane: Surrounds the cell and keeps it together; also decides what material enters and leaves

Cell organelle: Parts of the cell that perform specific functions

Cell wall: The stiff outer layer of a cell that protects the cell and gives it shape

Cellular respiration: The process where organisms get energy from organic molecules

Central atom: In a molecule, the atom that most of the other atoms are bound to

Centromere: Part of the chromosome that connects the sister chromatids

Ceramic: Something made of hard brittle material produced from nonmetallic minerals by baking at high temperatures

Chain Reaction: Type of reaction where one event triggers another event which triggers yet another event, and so on

Characteristic: A distinguishing quality of something; generosity is one of his best characteristics

Charles Darwin: See "Darwin"

Chemical: Material produced by or used in a reaction involving changes in atoms or molecules

Chemical change: A change in a substance that results in a completely different substance or substances and cannot be undone

Chemical engineering: Designing and redesigning chemicals for medicine and industrial applications

Chemical equation: A short notation for describing a chemical change; 2H2 + O2 è 2H2O

Chemical formula: The sequence of atoms that describes a certain molecule

Chemical property: Describes the ability of a substance to react and form new substances

Chemical reaction: What occurs when one or more reactants combine to form one or more products

Chemical Symbol: The one or two-letter designation for an element in the periodic table

Chemosynthesis: The creation of carbohydrate from carbon dioxide and water that only happens in certain bacteria and fungi

Chloroplast: Organelle in plants and some other organisms which is responsible for photosynthesis

Chromosome: A thread-like strand of DNA or RNA in the cell

Cilia: A hair-like organelle on the outside of a cell used in movement

Classification: Organization of anything (living or non-living) into categories according to their characteristics

Climate: The weather in some location over a long period of time

Climate Change: Phenomenon where climate is altered by natural and man-made causes

Cloning: The creation of genetically identical copies of some organism

Co-dominance: Two alleles for a characteristic that are equally dominant to each other and, when both are present, produce a characteristic that is not like either of them

Codon: A group of three bases of mRNA, used to code for a tRNA then an amino acid

Collision: An event where two objects come together

Comet: A small, frozen object outside the earth which travels around the sun in an ellipse

Commensalism: A relationship between two organisms where one benefits and the other is unaffected

Comment: Write your personal opinion about the subject

Common Ancestor: The most recent living thing that two species can claim as an ancestor (and usually extinct)

Communication: The successful transmission of information through a common system of symbols, signs, behavior, speech, writing, and/or signals.

Community: The collection of all organisms that live together on an area of land

Compare: Look for characteristics that resemble each other. Emphasize similarities and differences.

Competition: When more that one organism is trying to obtain the same resources

Compound: A chemical combination of two or more atoms (of different elements)

Compression: When objects push together; also, when sound waves push together

Computer engineering: Designing and redesigning software for computers

Conceive: To have the idea for something

Conclusion: An explanation of the results of an experiment

Condensation: When a substance changes state from a gas to a liquid

Conduction: The ability of a material to allow electricity or heat to pass through

Conductivity: The amount of conduction of a material

Conductor: A material capable of transmitting energy (e.g., heat, sound, electricity)

Coniferous Forest: One of Earth's biomes that has trees which do not lose their leaves, and a cool, dry climate

Consensus: General agreement among a group of people

Conserve: To keep the same through a physical or chemical reaction; energy is conserved in this process

Constant: Does not change

Constrain: To limit, hold back or restrict

Constraint: A limit to the design process. Constraints may be such things as appearance, funding, space materials, or human capabilities

Construction: The systematic act or process of building, erecting, or constructing buildings, roads, or other structures

Consumer: Living thing that eats other living things

Context: The set of facts that surround a situation or event

Continental Drift: The theory that states the continents are constantly in motion

Contrast: Stress the differences between things.

Control: What is kept the same in an experiment

Control Group: A group in an experiment that receives the normal condition (or lack) of the independent variable

Controversy: An issue that has two or more supported viewpoints and is generally not agreed upon by everyone

Convection: The process where heat causes fluids (gas or liquid) to rise and bring heat up

Cosmic Background Radiation: Type of radiation (like light, but invisible) given off by major events like the big bang

Covalent Bond: A type of chemical bond where electrons are shared between the atoms

Criticism: Pointing out flaws or errors in an experiment

Criticize: Express how you feel about how truthful the information is. Provide evidence and ask questions of the author!

Crop: A plant that is grown for food

Crop Rotation: Method of farming where the same crop is not planted in the same place two years in a row; often, there is a 2 - 5 year rotation

Crust: The outermost layer of Earth, containing all of the continents and the layer of Earth underneath the ocean

Cyclic fluctuation: A process that involves change, but returns to the same state over and over again

Darwin: Charles Darwin, who came up with the most widely accepted theory of evolution

Data: The results or information that you get from doing a scientific experiment

Deciduous forest: A biome where the trees lose their leaves every year

Decomposer: A type of living thing that survives by consuming dead organic matter

Deduction: A way of making scientific discoveries where general ideas are tested very specifically

Deep interior: The mantle and core of the Earth

Define: Give concise and clear meaning to what you are asked to define.

Deletion: The removal of a DNA base that results in a genetic mutation

Demand: In economics, how much of a particular material or product is being requested or purchased

Density: The mass of a substance per unit volume

Dependent Variable: In an experiment, the measurable change expected from that experiment

Describe: Recount or relate in sequence.

Design: All engineers participate in a design process where they plan out how their project is going to proceed

Design brief: A written plan that identifies a problem to be solved, its criteria, and its constraints. The design brief is used to encourage consideration of all aspects of a problem before attempting a solution

Design process: A systematic problem-solving strategy, with criteria and constraints, used to develop many possible solutions to solve a problem or satisfy human needs and/or wants, and to narrow down the possible solutions to one final choice

Developer: Anyone who develops land or anything else; often refers to software (computer) developers who do programming

Diagram: Provide a drawing, chart or plan. Make sure to label it completely!

Dichotomous Key: A model of a classification that shows each characteristic as a series of yes/no (or this/that) decisions

Differentiate: Point out the details that allow the reader to tell two or more things apart. These things are usually in the same category.

Differentiated cells: Cells that have developed differently to have different functions

Differentiation: Process where cells grow and become different than their mother cell

Diffusion: Where molecules spread out until they are evenly distributed in a medium, such as the air

Dilemma: A philosophical or ethical problem

Diploid: Cell that contains two copies of each chromosome

Directional Selection: Natural selection moves characteristics in a particular direction

Discuss: Examine, analyze and discuss the material and problem being presented.

Dissipate: To cause to separate and go in different directions

Dissolve: To cause to go into a solution

Distribution: The amount of scattering over a certain area

Diversity: The distribution and abundance of different plant and animal communities and species within a given area

DNA: Abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid, which contains the genetic instructions for all forms of life

Dominant: A genetic characteristic that is always expressed by the organism

Ductile: Can be drawn into wire

Earthquake: The movement of Earth's plates which results in shaking on the surface of the crust

Ecosystem: An ecosystem is an area consisting of all plants, animals and micro-organisms (biotic factors) working together with all of the non-living (abiotic) factors of the environment

Electric circuit: The complete path of an electric current, usually including the source of electric energy

Electric current: A flow of electric charge

Electric force: The force between a positively-charged particle and an electron (negatively charged)

Electrically neutral: Neither positively charged or negatively charged

Electricity: Energy caused by the movement of electrons in a direction

Electromagnetic radiation: A wave that moves back and forth at a certain frequency and moves through space at the speed of light

Electromagnetic spectrum: The range of all possible electromagnetic radiation

Electromagnetic waves: A wave or “disturbance” in space; radio, television, x-rays, microwaves

Electron: A negatively charged particle outside the nucleus of an atom

Electron configuration: The arrangement of electrons in an atom or molecule

Element: A substance composed of atoms with the identical atomic number; organized in the periodic table

Embryology: The study of how organisms develop; the more closely related two organisms are, the more similar they are as they develop

Emigration: The act of leaving one place for another

Endocytosis: Process by which cells absorb large particles by surrounding the particles with the cell membrane and pinching it off

Endoplasmic reticulum: Organelle that produces proteins and fats

Endothermic: A chemical reaction that absorbs heat energy

Energy: The property of something's ability to do work

Energy production: Since energy cannot be created or destroyed, this refers to getting energy into a more usable form

Energy pyramid: A diagram showing that as you go up the pyramid, the total amount of energy decreases

Energy transfer: Energy can be transferred from one place to another, but when this happens, energy is always lost

Engineer: Career field that involves designing things that other people use

Engineering: A profession involving the knowledge of mathematical and natural sciences (biological and physical) gained by study, experience, and practice, applied with judgement and creativity to develop ways to utilize the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of human-kind; work performed by an engineer

Engineering design: The systematic and creative application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends, such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems

Environment: The complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (e.g., climate, soil, living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine their forms and survival

Environmental Law: A body of laws that determines what can and cannot be done to the environment (e.g., pollution)

Equilibrium: A system is at equilibrium when no change is occurring

Erosion: The gradual wearing away of rock or soil by physical breakdown, chemical solution, and/or transportation of material, as caused, for example, by water, wind, or ice

Ethics: A system of principles that talks about good conduct

Eukaryote: A type of organism that has a true nucleus in its cell(s)

Evaluate: Consider the problem, giving both advantages and disadvantages. Mention the causes of each.

Evaporation: A change in state from liquid to gas

Evolution: The events involved in the development over long periods of time of organisms

Evolutionary relationship: How closely related two organisms are in terms of evolution

Exert: To make a great effort

Exothermic: A chemical reaction that gives off heat energy

Experimental Group: A group in an experiment that receives the independent variable

Explain: Make a clear and simple argument for the materials that you are presenting. Give reasons why someone might think differently.

Exponential Growth Rate: Growth of a population that doesn't grow by the same number of individuals every year; every year it grows by an increasing number of people

Extinction: No longer in existence

Extrusive: On the outside; when talking about rocks, extrusive rocks are formed on the surface of the Earth when lava cools

Eyewash: A safety feature of a classroom which allows people to safely wash their eyes of any chemicals or objects

Fabrication: The process of making products

Family: The classification group above genus

Faulting: The creation of a crack in the surface of the Earth due to plate tectonics

Fermentation: The process of energy production that happens in many organisms and does not require oxygen

Fertilizer: Chemicals used to add primarily nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to plants

Field geologist: Someone who studies the Earth outside of a laboratory and actually out at sites like mountains, rivers and forests

Fission: The splitting of an atomic nucleus that releases energy

Fitness: Ability to survive; well-adapted to the environment

Flagella: An organelle of some prokaryotes that allows for movement and resembles a tail

Fluid: Anything that flows; both gases and liquids are considered fluids

Folding: A process that happens on the surface of the earth when rock is pushed together

Food Chain: A representation of an ecosystem that shows just the path of energy with one producer, one primary consumer and one secondary consumer

Food web: A diagram that shows the relationships between different organisms in an ecosystem

Force: Something that produces a change in an object

Formation: The geological features of the earth

Formulate: Express a thought or idea based on the review of information

Fossil: The remains (or an impression) of a plant or animal that existed in a past geological age and that has been removed from the soil

Fossil fuel: An energy source (fuel) made from ancient plant or animal remains (fossils)

Fossil record: A piece of evidence for evolution that shows the development of organisms over time across the entire world

Fossilization: Process where bones or other animal remains (or imprints) get turned into fossils

Frequency: The amount of times something happens per second

Friction: The resistance when one object contacts another

Fuel: A source of energy

Full Disclosure: Concept in experiments where people are told afterwards the experiment that they just participated in

Function: What something is used for

Fungi: The kingdom of living things that are eukaryotic and make their own energy; mushrooms, yeast, molds

Fusion: The combination of two or more atomic nuclei that releases energy

Gametes: The cells that are responsible for sexual reproduction; sperm, eggs

Gamma ray: A form of electromagnetic radiation that has a very short wavelength and high frequency

Gas: Gas is a state of matter. Gas molecules do not hold together at all, so gas spreads out in all directions, including straight up. Gas changes both its shape and its volume very easily

Gene: The basic unit of heredity, composed of DNA and found on chromosomes

Gene frequency: The amount of times a particular gene is found in a population

Genetic composition: The collection of all of the genes of a particular organism

Genetic Diversity: The amount of differences in characteristics within a population

Genetic drift: The frequency of a particular gene in a population changes in a certain direction

Genetic Fitness: A description of how well an organism's genes help it survive in its particular environment

Genetic research: Research that investigates what information is in organisms' DNA

Genetic Transcription: The process of turning DNA into mRNA

Genetic Translation: The process of turning mRNA into tRNA and amino acids

Genetic variation: Changes between organisms that is based on their DNA

Genetically modified food: Food that has been changed so that its DNA benefits humans

Genotype: The letters that represent the two alleles that make up a gene

Genus: A classification of living things that is more specific than the species

Geographic separation: Way that natural selection works when a physical barrier separates species for so long that they no longer can reproduce with each other

Geologic footprint: The record of what has happened on Earth that is buried in rocks

Geologic time scale: A chart that shows the eras and periods of major events on Earth

Geological: Referring to geology, the study of the Earth

Geology: The study of the Earth

Germ: A small organism that causes disease

Germ theory: The theory that says that diseases come from small organisms (germs)

Global warming: The idea that Earth's temperature is rising and causing mainly negative effects

Goggles: A safety device used whenever the eyes could be injured by a chemical or physical experiment

Golgi apparatus: Organelle that packages proteins and fats so that they can leave the cell

Grams: Measure of mass

Grassland: One of Earth's biomes that has small plants (mostly grasses), warm temperatures and variable precipitation

Gravity: The theory that all objects are drawn to each other depending on their distance from each other and their masses

Greenhouse Effect: A greenhouse traps solar energy as heat; the Earth radiates heat back into the atmosphere which is trapped by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gas: Any gas that causes heat to stay inside the atmosphere

Growth: The increase of size of an individual; can also be the presence of something

Habitat: The environment that a species depends upon for its survival

Haploid: Cell that contains one copy of each chromosome

Hardness: A scale that tells how hard a particular rock is; harder rock scratches softer rock

Heat: The energy associated with the random motions of the molecules, atoms, or smaller structural units of which matter is composed

Heliocentric Theory: Theory that stated that the sun is the center of the universe and that Earth revolves around the sun

Helium: The second-lightest chemical element and found primarily in stars like the sun

Hereditary: Something that is given by parents to offspring

Heterotroph: Living thing that needs to consume other organisms for food

Heterozygous: Meaning different; in genetics, this refers to a genotype made up of both a dominant and recessive allele; Bb, Dd, Ff

Hierarchy: A sequence of groupings of things in a system; businesses have hierarchies which start with the president of the company, then managers (bosses) and finish with individual employees

High-mass Stars: Stars that become very hot, blue in color, and brighter than the Sun, and explode in supernovas

History of life on Earth: Knowledge on which to base an idea or belief

Homeostasis: Maintenance of a constant internal environment in an organism.

Hominids: Any of a variety of species of primates that were (or are) human-like, including gorillas, chimpanzees, humans and apes

Homo erectus: Ancestor of humans that was the first to walk upright

Homo habilis: Ancestor of humans that was the first to use tools

Homo sapiens: Modern humans; means "wise man"

Homologous chromosomes: Pair of chromosomes that contain similar genetic information

Homologous structures: Parts of two species that have the same bone (or non-bone) structure but play different roles for the organisms

Homozygous: Meaning same; in genetics, this refers to a genotype made up of two identical alleles; BB, dd, FF

Hubble Telescope: Space telescope launched by NASA to explore parts of the universe that cannot be detected from Earth due to Earth's atmosphere

Hurricane: An intense cyclone (spinning storm system) that has winds above 73 miles per hour

Hybrid: A combination of two different things; in genetics, this refers to the cross between a homozygous dominant and homozygous recessive individual to form heterozygous individuals; BB x bb = Bb

Hydroelectric Energy: Energy that comes from damming rivers - the energy is taken by the use of turbines that spin and make electricity

Hydrogen: The lightest chemical element and the main fuel in stars like the sun

Hydrosphere: The part of Earth defined as all of the water

Hypothesis: An educated guess that is used for experiments; a hypothesis must be tested in order to figure out whether it is true or false

Igneous: Rock that is formed from cooled magma (intrusive rock) or lava (extrusive rock)

Illustrate: Give examples, comparisons or analogies.

Immigration: The movement of an organism into an area

Immunity: Ability to completely fight off disease

Inadvertently: Unintentionally; usually because something was not taken into account

Independent assortment: Refers to the genetic concept that genes separate independently of each other during meiosis

Independent Variable: In an experiment, the factor that is changed (or measured at a different time)

Indestructible: Cannot be destroyed

Indivisible: Cannot be divided

Induction: A type of scientific thinking where specific instances are put together to form general ideas

Industrial Revolution: Era of history that began with the first widely produced machines that were used to save human labor

Inertia: The tendency of an object at rest to stay at rest, or an object in motion to stay in motion

Infer: Extend information beyond what is directly stated.

Inference: A conclusion based upon facts

Informed consent: When performing an experiment involving people, this is the permission that the subject (person being experimented on) gives, but only when they know what will be done

Infrared: A part of the electromagnetic spectrum that has less energy than visible light; it is the radiation that heat gives off

Inheritance: Attributes that are received by offspring (children) from their parents

Inherited: To receive from ancestors by genetic transmission

Inherited characteristics: Attributes that are received by offspring (children) from their parents

Inner Core: The part of Earth that is solid and contained inside the outer core

Innovation: A change in a particular technology that improves it

Inoculate: Placement of something that will grow or reproduce

Inorganic: Comes from non-living things

Inquiry: The process where information is received by asking questions

Insertion: When a genetic base is put in between other bases of DNA

Insulator: A material that is a poor conductor of electricity, heat, or sound

Interphase: Phase of cell division where cells grow

Interpret: Give the meaning of something by paraphrasing or explanation

Interrelatedness: Describes how genetically related two species of organisms are

Intraspecific competition: When two organisms of the same species compete for the same resource

Intrusive: On the inside; refers to the type of rock that is formed inside the Earth when magma cools

Invasive: Species that lives in an area that it is not originally from and kicks out native species

Investigation: The work of inquiring into something thoroughly and according to specific steps

Ion: A charged particle that either has more or less electrons than protons

Ionic Bond: A type of bond where ions are formed; electrons are not shared between the atoms as they are lost from one atom and attracted to the other

Isotope: A version of an element having the same atomic number but a different atomic mass; this is due to an increase or decrease in the number of electrons

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck: See "Lamarck"

Joules: Measure of energy

Jumping gene: A piece of DNA that can become a part of the chromosome at many different sites along the chromosome

Justify: State why you think something is the way that it is. Give supporting evidence.

Kinetic energy: The energy of movement

Kingdom: Most general classification of living things (sometimes placed under "Domains")

Lake effect snow: Snow created when cold air flows over relatively warm water then over cold land

Lamarck: Referring to the scientist who proposed the idea that evolution happens by the inheritance of acquired characteristics; Lamarck thought that giraffes' necks got longer because they grew during the lifetime of the parents and the parents passed long necks on to their offspring

Landfill: A place where trash is buried in the ground and covered over with soil and eventually a plastic shell

Landform: A natural feature on Earth's surface

Laser: Type of light that is high-energy and is focused; used for many different applications

Law: A scientific law describes (usually in numbers) how nature always works, regardless of knowing why it works

Leukemia: Cancer of the blood or bone marrow

Lichen: A combination of a fungus and an algae that help each other

Life cycle: The series of stages in form and functional activity through which an organism passes between origin and expiration

Life process: Something that occurs in an organism that is necessary to keep it alive

Light: A type of electromagnetic radiation that can be seen with eyes

Light Pollution: Type of pollution that involves extra light in the atmosphere, usually at night, that ends up distracting birds and other organisms that are used to nighttime being dark

Linear Growth: A type of population growth where organisms increase at a constant rate

Lipid: Refers to a group of fats that cannot be dissolved in water

Liquid: The state of matter where the particles are loose and form the shape of their container but do not necessarily fill up the container

Liters: Measure of volume

Lithosphere: The section of Earth that is composed of rock

Living system: A group of organisms and their environment

Living thing: An organism

Logic: Reasoned and reasonable judgment; "it made a certain kind of logic"

Lysosome: Organelle that digests food and waste in the cell

Machine: A device with fixed and moving parts that modifies mechanical energy in order to do work

Magma: Melted rock inside of the Earth

Magnet: A type of substance containing iron which also attracts iron (or steel)

Magnetic field: Magnets and wires carrying electric current have a magnetic field. Magnetic fields interact to produce a force of attraction or repulsion

Malaria: A disease spread by mosquitoes which kills about 1.2 million people every year

Malleable: Can be pounded and shaped without breaking

Mantle: The part of Earth that is a mixture of liquid and solid, is hot and found between the crust and the outer core

Manufacturing: The process of making a raw material into a finished product, especially in large quantities

Mass: How much matter there is in an object

Material: Something that is made up of matter

Material Safety Data Sheet: A piece of safety equipment that comes with all ordered chemicals and states the properties of the chemical and safe handling procedures

Matter: Something that has mass and occupies space

Mechanical: The use of tools or devices

Medium: The surrounding environment

Meiosis: The process of cell division which produces four sex cells (gametes) from one cell

Mendel: Gregor Mendel, the scientist who experimented with pea plants and discovered how genetic factors were passed down from parents to offspring

Metal: A chemical element from the left-hand side of the periodic table that is malleable, ductile and conducts electricity

Metalloid: A chemical element that has characteristics of both metals and nonmetals

Metamorphic: Rock formed when igneous or sedimentary rock is put under pressure, heated, or reacts chemically

Metamorphosis: A marked and more or less abrupt developmental change in the form or structure of an animal (e.g., butterfly or frog) occurring subsequent to birth or hatching

Metaphase: Phase of cell division where the chromosomes line up in the middle of the cell

Meters: Measure of distance

Methane: A gas that is often burned and is one of the greenhouse gases

Microorganism: A small organism that is only visible underneath a microscope

Microscope: Instrument used to observe things that are smaller than can be seen with the naked eye

Microwave: A type of electromagnetic radiation that has low energy and is used primarily for communication (cell phones)

Mineral: A solid homogeneous crystalline chemical element or compound that results from the inorganic processes of nature

Mining: Process of removing minerals from the Earth

Misconception: An idea that someone thinks they know, but in fact they do not understand it

Mitochondria: An organelle in all eukaryotic cells which is responsible for energy production

Mitosis: The process of cell division which produces two body cells from one cell

Mixture: A substance consisting of two or more substances mixed together

Molecule: The smallest unit of a substance that is the combination of one or more atoms

Moles: Measure of quantity of particles (6.22 x 10^23)

Momentum: The tendency of an object to continue moving; equal to mass times velocity

Monera: Kingdom of life made up of bacteria (prokaryotes)

Motion: A change in position or location

Mountain Building: A type of tectonic action where two tectonic plates collide, pushing land upwards which forms mountains

Movement: A change in position that does not necessarily mean a change in location

mRNA: Messenger RNA, a molecule that brings genetic information from DNA (in the nucleus) out to the rest of the cell

Multicellular: Made up of more than one cell

Multicellular Organisms: Organisms that are made up of more than one cell

Mutation: A change in the DNA of an organism; substitution, deletion, insertion

Mutualism: A symbiotic relationship where both organisms benefit

Nanotechnology: Technology that is only visible through the microscope

Native: Species that is well-established in a particular ecosystem and shows a balance between itself, biotic and abiotic factors

Natural disaster: A result of severe weather (like tornadoes and hurricanes) or some geological event (like a volcano, earthquake or asteroid) that causes devastation and destruction

Natural material: Material found in nature, such as wood, stone, gases, and clay

Natural Resource: Something that is useful that comes from the Earth

Natural selection: The process in which some organisms live and reproduce and others die before reproducing

Net force: The combination of all forces that act upon on object

Neutral: Not negatively charged and not positively charged; no charge

Neutron: Particle inside the nucleus of an atom that has no charge and a mass of 1 amu

Newton: Sir Isaac Newton, a scientist who made hundreds of contributions to science like the law of gravity and his three major laws of physics; a Newton is a measure of force

Newton's 1st Law: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside force

Newton's 2nd Law: The net force on an object is equal to the acceleration on that object times the mass of the object

Newton's 3rd Law: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction

Niche: Role that an organism occupies in an ecosystem

NIMBY: Meaning, "Not In My BackYard," a concept that states that people do not want harmful things (like dumps, power plants, heavy industry, etc.) close to where they live

Nitrogen Cycle: A description of the fact that nitrogen gets used and given off by a variety of organisms; without all of the organisms, many would not survive

Nitrogen runoff: Water containing too much nitrogen due to animal waste or too much fertilizer being used

Non-renewable: A resource that is used faster than it is produced

Non-sustainable agriculture: Agriculture that is done so the land is over-farmed and cannot continue to produce forever

Nonmetal: A chemical element from the right side of the periodic table that is brittle and does not conduct electricity well

Nova: Explosion of a star

Nuclear: Relating to the nucleus of an atom

Nuclear decay: This happens when the nucleus of an atom breaks apart; usually, neutrons and protons leave the nucleus

Nuclear energy: Energy that is produced by fission or fusion reactions

Nuclear reaction: A reaction that happens in the nucleus of an atom; fission, fusion

Nucleic acid: In the nucleus of a cell, there are two major types of nucleic acids: DNA and RNA

Nucleotides: These are found on a strand of DNA or RNA as a sequence of bases

Nucleus: In biology, this refers to the middle of a cell; in physical science, this refers to the center of an atom

Nutrient: Any molecule that is needed for an organism to survive

Objective: Based upon fact

Observation: Noticing or paying attention

Offspring: Children, of any organism

Orbit: A path described by one body in its revolution about another (e.g., Earth about the sun, an electron about an atomic nucleus)

Order: Classification of living things between Class and Family

Organ: Group of tissues that perform a certain function

Organ system: Group of organs that together perform a common function

Organelle: Part of a cell that performs a function for the cell

Organic: Comes from living things

Organic molecule: A molecule that contains carbon atoms bonded together

Organism: A living thing that can live and reproduce independently

Osmosis: When water molecules move from a higher to a lower concentration

Outer Core: The part of Earth that is mostly fluid, extremely hot, and contained between the mantle and inner core

Oxygen: One of the chemical elements on the periodic table that is used by all living things

Ozone: A form of oxygen that, in the atmosphere, protects living things from ultraviolet rays

Parasitism: A relationship in which one organism lives in or on another organism and benefits from that relationship while the host organism is harmed by it

Particle: An object in the atom that has mass

Patent: The rights that are given to inventors for their invention

Patient zero: The first person to have an infectious disease

Pedigree: A diagram that shows inheritance of a particular characteristic within a family

Peer review: A method of selecting essays to be published where a group of peers review and make comments about the submitted essays

Periodic table: An arrangement of chemical elements based on their atomic numbers and similarity of properties

pH scale: Measures the strength of acids and bases; an acid has a number below 7, a base has a number above 7 and neutral materials have a pH of 7 (like water)

Phenomenon: A fact, event or circumstance that can be observed

Phenotype: The physical expression (what can be seen) of a genetic characteristic; brown eyes, black hair

Phosphorous: One of the chemical elements on the periodic table that is used by all plants and animals

Photosynthesis: The process that happens in plants and some other organisms which takes the sun's energy and turns it into usable energy; 6CO2 + 6H2O + Light = C6H12O6 (glucose) + 6O2

Phylum: Classification of living things just under Kingdom

Physical change: A change in a substance that results in a different form of the substance and can be undone

Physical property: A characteristic of a substance that can be observed; color, taste, texture, density

Physical science: Any of the sciences, such as physics, chemistry, astronomy, and geology, that discusses the nature and properties of energy and nonliving matter

Pioneer: In biology, the first species that inhabit a certain area

Pitch: The property of a sound, and especially a musical tone, that is determined by the frequency of the waves producing it: highness or lowness of sound

Planet: Any large body of rock that orbits a star

Plasma: Plasma is a state of matter, often called “the fourth state.” The atoms in plasma move around in all directions at high speed. Plasmas are usually very hot and they glow. The sun, northern lights, lightning, and the glowing “gases” in neon sign tubes and fluorescent lamp tubes are examples of plasmas

Plastic: A material that can be molded and formed into objects and films

Plate tectonics: The theory that the earth's surface is divided into a few large, thick plates that are constantly moving

Population: The number of organisms in an area that all belong to the same species

Position: The place in space where an object is found in relation to another object

Potential energy: Stored energy; energy that is released and then becomes kinetic energy

Power Plant: A place where chemical or mechanical energy is turned into electrical energy

Precipitation: Any form of water that falls from the atmosphere; rain, snow, sleet, hail

Predation: When one animal hunts and feeds on another animal

Predator: An animal that hunts and feeds on prey

Predict: Use what is already known to make a statement about what will happen in the future.

Primary Consumer: An organism that eats producers

Problem: A statement of the unresolved issue facing the scientist

Procedures: The methods, or steps taken, to perform an experiment

Process: 1. Human activities used to create, invent, design, transform, produce, control, maintain, and use products or systems; 2. A systematic sequence of actions that combines resources to produce an output

Producer: Living thing that makes its own energy from the sun

Products: In a chemical reaction, the resulting substances

Prokaryote: A type of living thing that is single-celled and has no true nucleus

Propagate: To transmit or to continue a process

Property: A characteristic, attribute, or trait of an object

Prophase: Phase of cell division where chromosomes organize themselves

Proportional: A good size compared to something else

Protein: A sequence of amino acids

Protein synthesis: The creation of proteins in the cell from DNA

Protist: Kingdom of life made up of single-celled eukaryotes

Proton: A positively-charged particle in the nucleus of an atom

Protostar: An area in space made up of mass that has not yet combined to form a star

Prototype: A conceptual model of a technology that works, but is not the final product

Pulse: Pattern that the heartbeat makes in all of the blood vessels

Pure substance: A substance that has an identical chemical composition in every part

Purebred: For every genetic characteristic, a purebred is homozygous

Pyramid of Energy: See "Energy Pyramid"

Qualitative observation: Observation made using words and descriptions

Quantitative observation: Observation made using numerical data

Radar: Technology used to detect the movement or presence of things that are far away (like clouds, airplanes, etc.)

Radiation: Energy that is transmitted in the form of rays or waves or particles; when talking about heat, this is when heat spreads out from a central source

Radio wave: A type of electromagnetic radiation that has very low energy and a very long wavelength (can be 10 – 20 feet long); used for cell phones and radios of all kinds

Radioactive: Chemical that breaks down over time, releasing particles

Radioactive substance: A type of substance that releases neutrons and protons from its nucleus

Radiometric dating: Determining the age of a rock or fossil based on the amount of one isotope compared with another isotope; for example, the amount of carbon-14 versus the amount of carbon-12 can determine how old something is because carbon-14 breaks down to carbon-12 over time

Random: A lack of order and predictability

Random motion: Motion that has no specific direction and cannot be predicted

Rarefaction: When sound waves move apart

Raw Material: A material that has not been processed and can be used to make something else

Reactants: In a chemical reaction, the substances that are needed in order to start the reaction

Reaction: When one or more substances are changed into other substances

Recessive: A genetic characteristic that is only expressed by the organism if there is no dominant characteristic present

Recycle: To break down a material so that it can be reused instead of throwing it away

Red Giant: A type of star that appears to be red and is of low density

Reflect: To throw or bend back

Reflection: Bouncing back of a wave or other object

Refraction: Bending of a wave or other object

Regeneration: The process that creates something over again

Relate: Show the connection between two or more things. Point out how one causes or is like the other.

Renewable: A type of resource that is produced faster than it is consumed

Reproduce: To create more of

Reproduction: The process of creating offspring

Research: Discovering information that other scientists have already published

Research scientist: Someone who does science for a profession by experimenting and then publishing their results

Resistance: (Biology) Ability to fight off some amount of disease

Resource: A supply of something that can be used when needed

Revolve: To move in a curved path around a center or axis

Ribosome: Organelle that reads the mRNA to produce proteins

Rock sequence: The order of rocks according to the geological age where they can be found

Rotate: To turn about an axis or a center

Satellite: Any object (manmade or natural) that revolves around a planet, such as Earth

Saturated: Completely full; for a solution, the most amount of solute that can be put into the solvent

Science: The study of physical and material knowledge in an organized manner according to specific procedures

Scientific Method: A set of steps that describes how scientific investigations are performed

Sea-floor spreading: In geology, when oceanic plates move apart, the middle fills in with magma which cools and forms new sea floor

Secondary Consumer: An organism that eats primary consumers

Sediment: Tiny rocks that fall out of water and gather on the floor or a river, lake or ocean

Sedimentary: Rocks formed from materials deposited as sediment by water, wind, or ice, including debris of organic origin, and then compressed and cemented together by pressure

Segregation: In genetics, this refers to the separation of paired genes into separate sex cells (gametes)

Seismograph: A device that measures earthquakes

Semiconductor: A type of material that allows electricity to flow with average resistance

Sequence: An arrangement in which things follow a pattern; in genetics, this refers to the bases of DNA, in order

Sex cell: A type of cell which is involved in reproduction; sperm, eggs

Sex-linked trait: A genetic characteristic that is present only on the X (or in some cases, the Y) chromosome and so behaves differently in males and females

Sexual reproduction: The combination of two individuals (genetically) to form one or more new organisms

Sickle Cell Anemia: Genetic disease where red blood cells are "sickled," or poorly formed so that they cannot carry as much oxygen

Simple machines: The simple machines are the lever, pulley, and inclined plane, along with their most basic modifications, the wheel and axle, wedge, and screw. A complex machine is a machine made up of two or more simple machines

Skepticism: Requiring sufficient evidence before believing ideas that others propose

Sketch: A rough drawing that represents the main features of an object or scene that is often made as a preliminary study

Social Justice: A belief that people should be equal regardless of ethnicity, religious belief, nationality, wealth, color, or any other distinction

Solar Energy: Energy harnessed from the sun's electromagnetic radiation

Solar System: The sun together with the group of celestial bodies that are held by its attraction and revolve around it

Solid: One of the basic states of matter which has a definite shape and volume

Solution: A mixture of substances where the solute is mixed into a solvent

Somatic cells: The type of cells that form the body of an organism and are not involved in sexual reproduction

Sound: A kind of energy contained in vibrating matter. Sound travels through solids, liquids, and gases. The eardrums convert this vibrational energy into signals that travel along nerves to the brain, which interprets them as voices, music, noise, etc.

Space: The unlimited area in which everything is located; “Space, the final frontier”

Space Exploration: Concept that governments and other organizations follow that state there is economic, scientific and political benefit to exploring areas outside of our atmosphere

Species: A very specific classification of organisms; all members of a species can mate together

Speed: The amount of distance an object travels divided by the amount of time it takes; He traveled 30 mph

Star: An object in the sky that is made up of gases and very hot due to nuclear reactions (fission and fusion) that happen inside the star

State: Fully and clearly describe the main points in specific terms. Don't include details or examples.

States of Matter: Matter ordinarily exists in one of three physical states: solid, liquid, or gas. A given object’s state depends on what the molecules are doing at the object’s current temperature and pressure, i.e., Are the molecules not holding together at all, holding together weakly, or holding together so tightly that they are locked into a stationary position? The transition between the states occurs at definite temperatures and pressures. A fourth state of matter, plasma (ionized gas in which the electrons are separated from the nuclei), can exist at extremely high temperatures. Plasma is found on the sun and other stars

Stem cell: A type of cell that can turn into any other type of cell

Stimulus: Anything that affects an organism

Streak: The color of the fine powder of a mineral obtained by scratching or rubbing against a hard white surface and constituting an important distinguishing characteristic. Note: the streak color may be completely different from the color observed at the surface of the mineral

Subatomic: Meaning, inside the atom

Subjective: Based upon opinion

Sublimation: When a substance changes state from solid to gas

Substance: A type of matter that has the same properties; water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, diamond

Substitution: The replacement of one thing for another; in chemistry, this is a type of reaction where one atom or group is replaced by another; in genetics, this refers to a mutation where one base of DNA changes to another

Sulfur: A chemical element that is a part of fossil fuels and can contribute to acid rain

Summarize: Give a brief description of the main ideas.

Superconductor: A type of material that allows electricity to flow with no resistance

Superimpose: To place one image on top of another

Supernova: A massive explosion of a star

Supply: In economics, how much of a particular product or material is available

Support: Show evidence to back a conclusion or argument. In biology, this refers to the ability of the environment to provide basic needs to the organisms that live there

Survival of the Fittest: Theory in biology where the organisms that are best suited for their environment survive to reproduce

Survive: In biology, this refers to an organism that makes it to the next generation

Sustainability: Meaning any process that can continue without outside intervention

Sustainable agriculture: Agriculture that is done so the land is used well and can continue on forever

Symbiosis: A relationship between two or more organisms

Synthesis: The combination of two or more things or concepts

Synthetic material: Material that is not found in nature (e.g., glass, concrete, plastics)

System: A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements or parts that function together as a whole to accomplish a goal

Technology: The application of science to solve a particular problem

Technology education: The study of technology, which provides an opportunity for students to learn about the processes and knowledge related to technology that are needed to solve problems and extend human capabilities

Tectonic Plate: One of the many divisions of Earth's crust that move around and collide, slide past and move apart from each other

Telophase: Phase of cell division where cell splits into two new cells

Temperature: The measurement of the average thermal energy of a system

Tertiary Consumer: Member of an ecosystem that eats secondary consumers

Texture: The nature of the surface of an object, especially as described by the sense of touch, but excluding temperature. Textures include rough, smooth, feathery, sharp, greasy, metallic, and silky

Theory: A well proven explanation of some part of the natural world

Thermal energy: Heat

Timber: Process of cutting down trees

Time: A part of the measuring system used to measure how long an action takes

Tissue: Group of cells that perform a similar function

Tornado alley: The area in the midwest United States that gets a high amount of tornadoes

Total mass: The combination of all of the masses of everything that is being considered

Trace: Describe a path or sequence of events.

Transcription: See "Genetic Transcription"

Translation: See "Genetic Translation"

Trial: A run of an experiment

Tundra: One of Earth's biomes that has small plants (if any) and very cold temperatures; known as the cold desert

Ultraviolet: A form of electromagnetic radiation that has more energy than visible light; most ultraviolet light is usually blocked in our atmosphere by ozone

Unbalanced charge: An electric charge, positive or negative, that is not neutral because there are either more or less electrons than normal

Unbalanced force: A force that is not balanced out by an opposite force; She was pushing against the wall, but when the wall fell it became an unbalanced force!

Undirected variation: Changes in a population that seem random but can result in mutations that benefit the organism

Unicellular: Made up of one cell

Unity: Property of something in that it is complete

Unstable nuclei: More than one nucleus (nuclei) that break down very quickly to smaller nuclei

Unsustainable behavior: A process that cannot be continued because it needs constant outside intervention

Urban growth: The distance that a city (an urban center) is expanding

Vacuole: Organelle that stores nutrients in the cell

Valence electron: Electron in the last shell of an atom that is responsible for making bonds with other atoms

Variable: What is changed in an experiment

Variation: Something that has changed; in biology, this refers to the genetic difference between individuals

Velocity: The distance that an object travels over a certain amount of time and in a certain direction; He traveled at 30 mph south

Vibration: A shaky motion, especially inside of an atom

Virus: A small particle that contains DNA or RNA and is able to reproduce only inside of a living cell

Visible light: A form of electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye (other organisms are capable of seeing some infrared and ultraviolet radiation)

Volcanic action: The type and amount of lava that is erupting from a volcano

Volume: The amount of space an object takes up

Waste Disposal: How waste is gotten rid of

Water cycle: Description of how water moves through oceans, rivers, streams, living things and the atmosphere in various ways

Wave: A movement up and down or back and forth

Wave Speed: The speed of a wave traveling through a medium or through space

Wavelength: Refers to the length of a single wave (back and forth); can be calculated from the crest of one wave to the crest of the next

Weather: The current state of the atmosphere in terms of temperature, wind, clouds and precipitation

Weather pattern: Weather that happens over and over again over a certain period of time

Weight: The combination of the mass and the force of gravity on an object

White Dwarf: A type of star that appears to be white and is of high density

X-rays: A form of electromagnetic radiation that has low energy and is used in medical equipment

Yucca Mountain: Mountain in Nevada where it is proposed that nuclear waste be stored

Zone of inhibition: The area around a substance where living things do not grow

Zygote: Combination of a sperm and egg cell