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Science Vocabulary


 survive - to remain alive or in existence

survival - process of surviving

organism - a living thing that has the ability to act or function independently

vertebrate - having a backbone or spinal column

invertebrate - lacking a backbone or spinal column

structure - part of an animal's body and how it is put together

human - member of the genus Homo, species sapien; person

habitat - area of environment where an organism lives

function - what a structure can do

adaptation - structures and functions solve problems of survival in a habitat

traits - distinguishing feature; genetically determined characteristic

opposable thumb - digit next to index finger, separate from the other four digits

photosynthesis - process in green plants by which carbohydrates are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water using light as an energy source

stoma - minute pore in leaf or stem through which gases and water vapor pass (plural - stamate)

succulent - having thick, fleshy, water-storing leaves or stems

transpiration - giving off water vapor through the skin or mucous membrane

camouflage - concealing oneself from enemy by making them appear to be part of the natural surroundings

predator - organism that lives by preying on other organisms

prey - animal hunted or caught for food


 Every Drop Counts

Water Collection- Water collected from lakes, streams, and reservoirs is piped into the water treatment plant.

Coagulation and Flocculation- To change from fluid into a thick mass.

Disinfection- Chlorine: Chemical used to destroy harmful organisms.

Sediment- Matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid.

Sedimentation- Accumulation of sediment

Filtration- Liquid that has been passed through a filter.

Purify- To make pure or clean.

Aquifer- Rocks or solids that hold water

Surface Water- Water found on the surface such as puddles, lakes or rivers.

Ground Water- When it rains or snows, some of the water sinks into the ground.

Watershed- The land area from where the water drains into ditches, streams, lakes and rivers.

Three forms of water:

Solid form- produced by freezing water

Liquid form- flowing like water

Gas/Steam form- a fluid substance giving off gas



 Earth, Wind and Fire

climate- the kind of weather a place has over a long period of time.

climatic- due to weather conditions

dendrochronology- the science of using tree rings to analyze patterns of climatic change.

drought- a long period of dry weather characterized by a lack of rain or moisture.

environment- the plants, animals, water and land forms, and cultural features that influence the way in which one lives.

greeness map- computer generated maps that show areas of plant growth.

Keeling Chart- a graph representing the measured concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Landsat Program- a satellite program for capturing images of the Earth from space.

tree rings- annual layers of tissue in the tree's trunk that represent a tree's growth over one year.

weather- the state of the atmosphere with respect to changes in temperature, moisture, air pressure, etc.

climate- the average weather of a region over a series of years.

meteorology- the science dealing with the atmosphere and its phenomena.

forecast- the state expected future occurrences, especially in weather.

thermometer- an instrument of liquid enclosed in glass that measures temperature by the rise and fall of the liquid.

anemometer- any instrument used to measure wind speed.

barometer- any instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure

weather vane- a device that rotates freely and points in the direction from which the wind is blowing.

Beaufort Scale- a scale of wind forces described by name and range of velocity, and classified from force 0 to force 12.

Fresh H20- water in liquid form that contains no salt.

Polar ice caps- either of the regions around the poles of the Earth that are permanently covered with ice.

glacier- slow moving mass of ice

groundwater- water beneath the Earth's surface that supplies wells and springs.

aquifers- underground bed or layer of earth, gravel or porous stone that yields water

symbol- something that stands for or suggests something else

forecast- a prediction about how something (as the weather) will develop.

meteorologist- people trained in the study of meteorology, physics, math, chemistry and computer science. This training is used to help them interpret and predict weather patterns.

front- boundary between two dissimilar air masses.

region- a specified district or territory

air quality- level of health-related and visible attributes of air.

UV index- scale ranging from 0-10 used in estimating the risk of sunburn due to ultraviolet radiation.

dew point- saturated and condensation or dew begins.

Venn Diagram- a visual using semi-overlapping circles to graph data comparing and contrasting two items.

inland- located in the interior part of a country

coastal- land next to the sea; seashore

weathering- process by which rocks exposed to weather undergo physical changes

erosion- natural processes by which material is worn away from Earth's surface.

composite volcanoes- steep conical volcano composed of hardened lava and ash.

shield volcanoes- gently sloping volcano, formed by low viscosity lava.

cinder cone volcanoes- most common volcano, small, lava erupts from a single opening.

volcano (dormant, extinct, active)- opening in Earth's crush through which molten lava, ash and gases are ejected.

 lava- molten rock that reaches the Earth's surface through a volcano or fissure (crack)

eruption- break out of volcano matter.

Pacific plate- oceanic tectonic plate beneath the Pacific Ocean

ash- very fine rock and mineral particles ejected from a volcano.

magma- molten rock material under the Earth's crust.

crater- circular basin vent from which magma erupts.

earthquake- sudden movement of the Earth's crust.

epicenter- point of Earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake.

tectonic plates- the dozen or so masses (plates) that make up the surface of the Earth.



Energy and Magnetism

Attract- draw or pull, as when two magnets are placed with unlike poles together and their magnetic fields interact.

Force- any influence that causes an object to move.

Magnetic- Having a magnetic field, displaying magnetic properties.

Pole- In a magnet, each of the two ends or faces where the magnetic field is strongest.

Repel- Push away, as when two magnets are placed with like poles together and their magnetic fields interact.

Insulator- Material through which electricity does not flow.

Conductor- Material that allows electricity to pass through it.

Circuit- Continuous path for electric current to travel

Electricity- One of the basic forms of energy. Electricity can run motors and produce light, heat, sound, magnetic effect.

Series Circuit- A circuit with only 1 pathway for current to flow.

Parallel circuit- A circuit with 2 or more pathways for current to flow.

Electromagnet- Magnet created when wire is tightly coiled around an iron core.

Invent- To make or think of for the first time, create.

Patent- A piece of paper issued to a person or company. It gives them permission to be the only one to make, use or sell an invention for a certain number of years.

Technology- The use of science for practical purposes.