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Cells Vocabulary
1.​ C
​ ell​- the smallest part of a living thing that can carry out all the processes of life
2.​ U
​ nicellular​- made up of only one cell
3. ​ ​multicellular​- made up of more than 1 cell
4. ​ ​permeable​- material that allows liquids or gases to pass through
5. ​active transport​-the passage of molecules from side of a cell membrane to another by means
of energy
6. ​ ​passive transport​- the movement of a substance across a cell membrane without the use of
energy by the cell.
7. ​eukaryotic​- multicellular or complex organism
8.​ ​prokaryotic​- single cell or simple organism
9. ​chloroplasts​-​(in green plant cells) a plastid that contains chlorophyll and in which
photosynthesis takes place
10. ​nucleus​-​the central and most important part of an object, movement, or group, forming the
basis for its activity and growth
11. ​cell membrane​-​a thin membrane around the cytoplasm of a cell; controls passage of
substances in and out of the cell
Body Systems Vocabulary
​System​- a group of parts that work together
​Cell​- the smallest part of a living thing that can carry out all the processes of life
​Organ-​ ​A group of ​tissues​ that perform a specific f​ unction​ or group of functions.
​Tissue-​ ​Various groups of cells that create the materials plants and animals are made of
5. ​Skeletal system​- the body system of bones that give the body structure and support
6. ​Joint​- ​area where two bones meet
7. ​Muscular system​- the body system that is made up of all the muscles attached to bones and
helps the body move
8. ​Circulatory system​- the body system that carries oxygen, food, and waste throughout the
9. ​Cardiovascular System-​ the body system that pumps blood
10. ​Aorta-​ takes blood from the left ventricle of the heart to the body
11. ​Ventricle-​ ​one of two sections of the heart that pump blood out to the body
12. ​Veins​- carries blood to the heart
13. ​Capillaries​- a tube with the internal diameter of a hairlike thinness that carries blood to
14. ​Arteries-​ carries blood away from the heart
15. ​Respiratory system​- the body system that takes in oxygen from the air
16. ​Pharynx- ​the part inside your mouth where the passages of the nose connect to your mouth
and throat
​Respiration- ​the release of energy in cells by the combination of food and oxygen
​Trachea - ​tube that leads to the lungs from the throat
​Bronchial Tubes- ​the main branches on the respiratory tract leading in to the lungs
​Alveoli- ​tiny sacs where gas exchange occurs in the lungs
​Inhaling- ​taking air into the body through the respiratory tract
​Exhaling- ​letting air in the body through the respiratory tract
23. ​Digestive system​- the body system that breaks down food so it can be used by the body
24. ​Pharynx- ​the part inside your mouth where the passages of the nose connect to your mouth
and throat
25. ​Espohagus​-​a long tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach. It uses rhythmic, wave-like
muscle movements (called peristalsis) to force food from the throat into the stomach
26. ​Stomach-​ ​a large, sack-like organ that churns the food and bathes it in a very strong acid
(gastric acid)
27. ​Large Intestine-​ ​where some of the water and electrolytes (chemicals like sodium) are
removed from the food to nourish the body
28. ​Small Intestine -​ ​bile (produced in the liver and stored in the gall bladder), pancreatic
enzymes, and other digestive enzymes produced by the inner wall of the small intestine help in the
breakdown of food and pulls out nutrients.
29. ​Nervous system​- the body system that controls all the other body systems
30. ​Spinal Cord- ​the large group of nerves which runs through the center of the spine and carries
messages between the brain and the rest of the body
31. ​Nerves- ​one of the many thin parts that control movement and feeling by carrying messages
between the brain and other parts of the body
Heredity and Genetics Vocabulary
1.​ ​Acquired trait​- a characteristic that a living thing gets during its lifetime
2.​ B
​ ehavior​- a way in which a living thing acts or responds to its surroundings
3. ​Characteristic​ - special quality of a human, animal, or plant
4. ​DNA​ - ​ stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, is a nucleic acid that contains genetic code.
5. ​Genes -​ a tiny section of a chromosome. A gene causes a particular characteristic, such
as eye color or hair color, to be passed on from parent to offspring.
6. ​Generation​ - a group of individuals born around the same time and have common
7. ​Genetics​ - the science that studies how characteristics are passed on from parent to
8. ​Heredity​ - the passing of characteristics from parent to offspring.
9.​ I
​ nherited trait​- a characteristic that a living thing gets from its parents
10.​ L
​ earned behavior​- a skill that an animal develops after it is born
11. ​Offspring​ - the child or young of a particular human, animal, or plant.
12. ​Reproduce​- to make more organisms of one’s own kind
13. ​Trait​- a quality or characteristic of a living thing
Air resistance​- the force of friction that acts between a moving object and air
Direction​- the path that a moving object follows
Distance​- the length of a line between two points
Distance Time Graph​- a line graph that shows an objects motion, with time on the
x-axis and distance on the y-axis
Force​- a push or pull
Friction​- a force that acts between surfaces that touch each other
Gravity​- a force that pulls objects toward each other
Mass​- the amount of matter that makes up an object
Meter stick​- a tool used for measuring length and distance
Motion​- a change in an object’s position
Pan balance​- a tool used to measure mass
Position​- the location of an object
Speed​- a measure of how far an object moves in a certain amount of time
Spring scale​- a tool used to measure weight or force
Weight​- a measure of the pull of gravity on an objects mass
16. ​potential energy-​ ​energy​ stored in an object or substance
17. ​kinetic energy-​portion of energy associated with the motion of a body.
18. ​balanced forces​- equal forces acting on an object in opposite directions
19. ​unbalanced forces​-​forces that cause a change in the motion of an object
Matter Vocabulary
Chemical change​- a change in which one or more new types of matter form
Chemical property​- the ability of a material to react with other materials in a
Dissolve​- to mix evenly in a liquid (breaks down into tiny pieces that seem to
Energy​- the ability to make things move or change
Insulator​- a material that heat does not move through easily
Matter​- anything that has mass and takes up space
Physical change​- a change in which no new materials form
Physical property​- a feature that can be observed with the senses or measured with
a tool
State of matter​- the form that matter has such as solid, liquid, or gas
10.​ T
​ hermal energy​- the energy of the moving particles that make up all matter
Heat Transfer Vocabulary
1. ​conduction:​Heat transfer by direct contact
2. ​convection:​ ​the transfer of heat as a result of a mixing of a liquid or a gas
3. ​radiation:​ ​Heat transfer by electromagnetic waves, -Heat transferred from one object
through space/atmosphere to another object
4. ​conservation:​ ​Conserving energy to lessen the amount of resources used.
5. ​heating:​ ​A process in which energy transfer occurs and the temperature increases
6. ​cooling:​ ​The process of removing heat from a substance, resulting in a decrease in
temperature and/or a change of state.
7. ​heat transfer:​ ​the movement of energy from a warmer object to a cooler object
8. ​conductor:​ ​A material that allows heat and electricity to pass through it.
9. ​insulator:​ ​A material that does not allow heat or electrons to move through it easily.
10. ​thermal energy​: ​the energy of the moving particles that make up all matter
Weather Vocabulary
Water Cycle
Water Cycle​- The movement of water between Earth’s surface and atmosphere
Evaporation​- the change from a liquid to a gas
Transpiration​- ​the process by which plants release water vapor into the air from their leaves
Condensation​- the change from a gas to a liquid
Precipitation​- water that falls from the atmosphere as rain, snow, sleet, or hail
Runoff​- water that flows over the land surface
Collection-​ when precipitation accumulates in a body of water, in the ground, or as runoff to a
body of water
Weather Instruments
Anemometer​- a tool used to measure wind speed
Barometer​- a tool used to measure air pressure
Rain Gauge​- a tool used to measure the amount of rain that falls
Thermometer​- a tool used to measure temperature
Wind vane​- a tool that shows wind direction (where the wind is coming from)
Hygrometer-​ measures humidity
General Weather Terminology
Weather​- the condition of the atmosphere at a certain time and place
Climate​- the weather conditions of a certain place or season, averaged over years, decades, or
Meteorologist​- a scientist who studies weather
Latitude​- the distance north and south of the equator
Hemisphere​- one half of Earth
Temperature​- a measure of how warm something is
Equator​- an imaginary line that divides Earth in half horizontally
Tide​- the rise and fall of ocean water
Sun-​ the “driving force” of weather
Hurricane​- a large storm that brings strong winds and heavy rain
Air mass​- a large body of air with about the same temperature and humidity throughout
Atmosphere​- the mixture of gases and dust that surrounds Earth
Cloud​- a mass of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in the air
stratus-​ low level clouds that look like layers or blankets that cover the sky; result in overcast
weather and sometimes produce precipitation. (Fog is a stratus cloud that forms at ground level.)
Cumulus clouds-​ middle level clouds (means heap or pile) puffy like cotton; results in fair
Cirrus clouds-​ high level clouds composed of ice crystals look thin and wispy like feathers
Nimbus-​ means rain
Cumulonimbus-​ tall cumulus clouds; look like an anvil and results in heavy precipitation
especially thunderstorms
Ocean Currents
Current​- the horizontal flow of air or water in a certain direction, such as the Gulf Stream off the
east coast of North America, or air, such as the jet stream
Gulf Stream​- a warm swift ocean current in the Atlantic Ocean that flows from the Gulf of Mexico
along the eastern coast of the United States and then northeast toward Europe
El Nino​- an unusual warming of surface water in the eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator
La Nina​- a
​ n unusual cooling of surface water in the eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator
Front​- a place where two different air masses meet
Cold Front​- a place where a cold air mass bumps up against a warm air mass
Warm Front​- a
​ place where warm air mass meets a colder air mass and slowly rises over it
Stationary Front​- a place where two air masses meet and stop moving
Occluded front-​ a combination of two fronts that form when a cold front overtakes a warm front
Air Pressure
Air pressure​- the weight of the atmosphere pressing at a certain place
High Pressure System-​ a whirling mass of cool dry air. Because cool air is heavy and denser
than warm air, it sinks. High pressure brings fair weather, sunny skies, light winds and stable
Low pressure system-​ a whirling mass of warm, moist air. Because warm air is lighter and less
dense than cool air, it rises, and then cooler air flows in underneath. Low pressure systems bring
storms, strong winds, and changing, unstable weather.
Wind-​ horizontally moving air; caused by uneven heating of the Earth’s surface, which creates
warm and cool air masses; moves from high pressure area to low pressure area
Prevailing Westerlies- ​winds that occur over the U.S. and blow from west to east
Jet stream​- a strong air current of fast winds in the upper atmosphere that flows from west to
east and change locations depending on global conditions; jet streams “steer” the movement of
surface air masses and weather systems
Sea Breeze-​ a convection current where air flows from sea to land during the daytime; (land
heats up and cools down faster than water)
Land Breeze-​ a convection current where air flows from land to sea during the nighttime
​Ecosystems and Biomes
​Abiotic​- characterized by the absence of life or living things
2. ​Aquatic ecosystem​- a water based ecosystem
3. ​Biome​- a large-scale ecosystem
4. ​Biotic​- relating to life or living organisms
5.​ ​Carnivore​- a consumer that eats only or mostly animals
6.​ ​Competition​- the demand for a resource by two or more organisms
7.​ ​Consumer​- a living thing that gets energy by eating other living things
8.​ ​Decomposer​- a living thing that gets energy by breaking down wastes and dead plants and animals
9.​ ​Ecosystem​- all the living and nonliving things in an area
10.​ ​Energy pyramid​- a diagram that shows how the amount of energy changes as it moves through a food
chain or food web
11.​Estuary​- a body of water in which freshwater from a river meets and mixes with salt water from the
12.​ ​Food chain​- a model that shows the path of energy as it flows from one living thing to the next
13.​ ​Food web​- a model that shows how several food chains are connected together
14.​Forest​- an ecosystem that contains many trees
15.​ ​Grassland​- an ecosystem that has fertile soil covered with tall grasses
16.​Habitat​- a place in an ecosystem where a population lives
17.​Herbivore​- a consumer that eats only or mostly plants
18.​Individual​- a single organism in an environment
19.​ ​Interact-​ to come into contact with and affect each other
20.​ ​Lake​- a large body of freshwater surrounded by land
21.​Niche​- the role each population has in its habitat
22.​Ocean​- a large body of salt water
23.​ ​Omnivore​- a consumer that eats both plants and animals
24.​Organism​- a living thing
25.​ ​Photosynthesis​- the process by which plants, algae, and some bacteria use energy from sunlight to
make their own food
26.​Pond-​ a small body of freshwater surrounded by land
27.​Population​- a group of organisms of the same kind that live in the same area at the same time
28.​ ​Predator​- an animal that hunts other animals for food
29.​Prey-​ an animal that is hunted by other animals for food
30.​ ​Producer​- a living thing that makes its own food
31.​Salt marsh​- a flat area of land where salt water overflows
32.​ ​Terrestrial ecosystem​- a land based ecosystem
Other Science Words
Analyze​- to study something carefully to understand what it means
Bar graph​- a graph that shows numbers as bars of different lengths
Classify​- to sort objects, ideas, or information into groups based on their
Communicate​- to share ideas and information
Conclusion​- a statement about what you think data and observations mean
Data​- pieces of information
Data table​- a chart made up of rows and columns, used to organize data
Dependent variable​- a condition that may change when a scientist changes the
independent variable in a experiment
Experiment​- a controlled test done to answer a scientific question
Independent variable​- a condition that a scientist changes in an experiment
Investigation​- a careful study of something to answer a question about it
Line graph​- a graph that shows data as a line on a grid
Model​- something that represents a real object, event, or process
Observation​- information gathered with the senses
Prediction​- a statement about what is likely to happen in the future
Qualitative data​- pieces of information that are described in words
Quantitative data​- pieces of information described in numbers and units
Resource​- something that a living thing needs to stay alive
Variable​- something that can change or vary in an experiment
X-Axis​- the horizontal line at the bottom of a graph (distance-time graph= the line
that represents time)
Y-Axis​- the vertical line at the side of a graph (distance-time graph = the line that
represents distance)