Common Core Science Vocabulary Flashcards
5th Grade Science Vocabulary Glossary
Nature of Science Flash Cards
Academic Science Vocabulary: STAAR and Common Core State Standards
acids /bases Acids can be solutions, liquids or solids. Acid solutions have a pH less than 7 and turn blue litmus paper red. They react with bases, taste sour and react with metals. Example: Vinegar is a weak acid (acetic acid).Bases can be thought of as the chemical opposite of acids. Bases react violently with acidic substances. They are bitter in taste, have a pH greater than 7, and turn red litmus paper blue. Example: Many families use two bases at home: bleach for laundry such as Chlorox©, and ammonia for washing windows, floors, etc.
chemical change In a chemical change, bonds are broken and formed between different atoms, forming a new compound/substance. Photosynthesis results in a chemical change in which carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) are changed into sugars by plants.
chemical properties Chemical properties are any of a material's properties that can be seen during a chemical reaction. (Unlike material properties, chemical properties cannot be identified by looking at the material.) One of thechemical properties of hydrogen is that it can catch fire and explode under the right conditions.
concave lens A lens with at least one inward-curving (concave) surface. Light going through a concave lens becomes spread out. (See figure below.)
conduction The movement of heat, electricity through a material. Aluminum, copper, silver and gold all have very good heat conduction properties.
conductor A material which freely allows the flow of electricity or heat through it. Aluminum is a very goodconductor of electricity and heat.
contract/expand To contract is to become smaller in size. To expand is to become larger in size.
The pupils in your eyes contract when you go into bright light, and expand when you go into a dark room.
convection The movement of molecules within fluids (i.e. liquids and gases). Many people have convection ovens at home.
convex lens A convex lens has one or more surfaces curving out or bulging outward. A convex lens takes a beam of light and focuses it on a point. My magnifying glass has a convex lens.
ecosystem An environment consisting of all the organisms living there, as well as the air, soil, water and sunlight conditions. Tucson is located in a desert ecosystem.
environmental changes (human & nature) Changes in an area caused by nature (e,g, storms, floods, weathering, etc.) or humans (e.g., building homes, paving the roads, or nearly all human activities). The Tucson area has experienced many environmental changes caused by nature (mountain uplift) and humans (building thousands of homes).
fossils (relative age) The relative age of fossils refers to figuring out the age based of the layer of the rock in which the fossil is found. (Older fossils are found in deeper layers.)
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past.
Fossils of dinosaur footprints can be seen at Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, Texas. The relative ageof these tracks is 115 to 105 millions years old.
inherited traits Characteristics passed from parents to their offspring (children) through genes. In plants, it's the passing of characteristics from the "parent" plant to new plants through genes in seeds.
In humans, inherited traits you can see are hair and eye color.
insulator A material which electricity or heat has a hard time moving through.
A pot holder makes a good insulator and can keep you from burning your hand on a hot handle.
kinetic energy The energy of a moving object. If you catch a baseball hit by strong player, your hand will sting because the kinetic energy of the ball has been transferred to your hand.
light reflection The bouncing of light off a surface. A mirror works because of light reflection.
magnetic field A magnetic field is a force field that can attract or repel certain materials (e.g., iron) or charged particles like electrons. 1) A permanent magnet produces its own magnetic field. 2) The earth has a magnetic field.
mass In everyday usage, "mass" is often used to mean weight, but in physics, mass is the ratio of weight to the acceleration of gravity. On the earth, mass is the weight in pounds or kilograms divided by the acceleration of gravity, or weight in pounds / 32.2 ft/sec². Wherever you go in the universe, your mass is the same, but your weight will change as the force of gravity changes.
metamorphosis (complete & incomplete) All insects undergo a visible change in form, texture and physical appearance or metamorphosis, from immature to adult. Some insects undergo an incomplete or partial metamorphosis, and the young of these insects look very much like the adults. Other insects undergo a complete metamorphosis, and the young of these insects look very different from the adults (e.g., caterpillar to butterfly).The Monarch Butterfly goes through a complete metamorphosis, and changes from a caterpillar to a butterfly. A grasshopper goes through an incomplete metamorphosis, and the young nymphs look very much like the adults.
potential energy The energy stored in an object or system due to its position in a force field (like gravity). A back pack has a lot of potential energy if it is placed on a table where it can fall on the floor.
radiation Particles of energy (e.g., electrons, alpha particles, neutrons, etc.) or waves (e.g. light or radio waves) that travel through a material or space. Human beings can live on the earth because of the sun's radiation.
revolution The movement of one body/planet completely around another. It takes the earth 365 days to make onerevolution around the sun.
species In biology, a species is one of the basic groups in classification organisms (plants, animals, insects, etc.). The commonly used names for plants and animals are sometimes the same as the species' name: for example, "lion," "walrus," and "Camphor tree" each refer to a species. In other cases common names do not: for example, "deer" refers to a family of 34 species.
Human beings (Homo sapiens) are a species in the Mammalia class.
states of matter The three states of matter that you normally deal with are: solids, liquids, and gases. A fourth state of matter is plasma (an ionized state of matter similar to a gas) which is used in flat screen, plasma TV sets. A fifth state of matter is a Bose-Einstein condensate, which you need not worry about until you go into advanced college physics.
We commonly see all three states of matter for water every day: ice (solid), water (liquid), and gas
adaptations Something which has been changed to fit new conditions. "When Anna moved to the United States with her parents and sisters, she could speak only Hungarian.Now she can speak English fluently.Anna has adapted to English; learning English was her adaptation."
amphibians A land animal that breeds in water.It grows to an adult in water, then lives on land.
"Hector's assignment was to bring some amphibians to class.Hector brought in tadpoles in a jar of pond water."
cell (wall, membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus) The cell is the basic unit of living things.A wall (or membrane) surrounds the nucleus andcytoplasm inside the cell. "In science class Rhonda made a model of a cell using a balloon for the wall (or membrane), and water and a ping pong ball inside the balloon to represent thecytoplasmand nucleus."
condensation Droplets of water that form when warm, moist air comes in contact with cold air or a cold surface."It was a humid day, and condensation was forming on the outside of Robbie'sglass of iced lemonade."
earth's layers (crust, mantle, core) In geology the earth's layers are named crust, mantle, and core. "Thecore is the center of the earth, made of molten iron andnickel;the crust is the solid outside layer; the mantle is the layer between the core and the crust."
edible ( parts of plants) Parts of plants that can be eaten by people without harm. "David's science report told the class that not all mushrooms are edible; some are very poisonous."
endangered Something or someone that is at risk, or in danger. "The dodo bird was once endangered, and now it is extinct.The last dodo died in the 17th century."
erosion The gradual wearing away of rock or soil. "Erosion can happen by wearing away with wind, water, ice, or chemical solution; water erosion weakened the river bank and made it crumble into the river."
evaporation When a liquid is changed to a vapor without actually boiling. "Mr. Taylor said that the evaporationrate was very high; it was SO humid."
friction The resistance of one object moving against another object. "James rubbed sandpaper across the shelf until his hand became hot;the heat was caused by thefriction between the sandpaper and the shelf."
gravity The pull that the earth has on an object on the earth's surface. "Elizabeth weighs 73 pounds;This 73 pounds is the force of gravity on Elizabeth, the pull that keeps her from drifting off into space."
heredity The passing on of genetic characteristics, like hair color or flower fragrance, from one generation of living beings to the next. "Her hair color came to her by heredity: Sally's great-grandfather had red hair, her grandfather has red hair, her mother has red hair, and Sally has red hair ."
lunar Relating to a moon around a planet, especially the moon around the Earth. "Isaac and his father focused the telescope on the moon; tonight was a special night to watch the shadow of the lunar eclipse."
mammals A class of warm-blooded animals that feeds its young with milk. "Did you know that the class ofmammals includes humans, apes, dogs, whales, dolphins, and bats?"
mixture/solution Mixture is two or more substances combined without any chemical change taking place; the original substances are still present without forming new substances. Solution is a mixture where one of the original substances is a liquid. "Stirring together chocolate Quik and milk forms a solution or mixture; stirring together sugar and flour forms a mixture; stirring together an acid and a metal is not a mixture or a solution because a chemical change occurs and a new substance is formed."
moon phases (correct sequence) The changing of shapes of the moon as seen from Earth in the sequence:first quarter, full moon, last quarter, and new moon. The moon phases repeat in the same order each month, and are caused by the Earth's shadow as it blocks the sun's light to the moon.
parallel circuit A circuit is a route or path for electricity in which current can flow.In a parallel circuit there is more than one path for the current to travel; in a series circuit there is only one path.
"Grandfather told us that long ago all the Christmas tree lights would go out when one light blew out- Those lights were not on parallel circuits." (Today we have parallel circuits in the electrical cords of our Christmas tree lights, and one bad bulb doesn't shut off the current paths to the rest of the lights.)
pitch To set a musical instrument to a particular key. "Mario's saxophone didn't sound right when he played songs with the band; he was off-pitch."
precipitation Formation of an insoluble substance in a particular solution. "Look!" said Rita, as a precipitation of solid particles sank to the bottom of her lemonade."
renewable / non-renewable Being able to be begun or created again -- or not able to be created again. "Corn and wheat are renewable resources as long as we have seeds to plant and soil and good weather for growing the seeds." "Coal is a non-renewable resource because once all the coal is found and used up, it cannot be created again."
reptiles Air-breathing cold-blooded egg-laying vertebrates. "Examples of reptiles are crocodiles, tortoises, snakes, and lizards."
series circuit An electrical circuit with only one path where a current can flow. "Christmas tree lights in the 1950's were on series circuits; all the lights went out when only one bulb blew out."
simple machines A simple unpowered device where resistance at one point is overcome by applying force at another point "Examples of a simple machine are a lever, pulley, and inclined plane -- such as found in a shovel or crowbar, or a cord on Venetian blinds, or a wedge doorstop."
solar energy Energy that is created by the heat of the sun. "Solarenergy generates energy in solar panels when sunshine heats up the fluid inside the panels."
threatened In danger of becoming extinct. "Some birds are threatened by the existence of wind farms, when the birds fly into the spinning blades and die."
thriving To grow well, or to be successful. "Cotton is a thriving crop in Arizona as long as irrigation water is available."
traits characteristics Defining features that make somebody or something recognizable.
"She could easily recognize the characteristics of Samuel's voice;the traits were so much like his father's voice."
atmosphere The layer of gases that surround the earth. The earth's atmosphere contains mainly nitrogen and oxygen.
conservation In biology, the protection and management of living things. (Conservation has many meanings, depending upon that you are trying to protect.) If you leave desert plants and animals alone, and only take pictures, you are practicing conservation.
energy The ability of one object to do work on another. 1) Batteries provide the energy to move a Toyota Prius. 2)Windmills change wind energy into electrical energy.
extinct Plants, animals, insects (organisms) that no longer live on earth. The Dodo bird is extinct.
force A push or pull that causes an object to change its speed, direction, or shape (e.g., the force of gravity). The force of gravity between the earth and sun causes the earth to revolve around the sun.
geological features What the earth looks like -- mountains, flat areas (plains), valleys, continents, islands, etc. The geological features of the Tucson area include a fairly flat land (plain), surrounded by several mountain ranges.
life cycle In biology, the total lifespan of a living thing, from conception to death. In astronomy, the total lifespan of a star, galaxy, etc., from "birth" to death. Nine months of the life cycle of a human being are spent in the womb where we receive oxygen and food from our mothers.
magnetic attraction A property of materials that causes them to move toward one another.
Iron has more magnetic attraction that most other materials.
matter Matter is a general term for the material that makes up all physical objects. Some astronomers think there is a lot of dark matter in the universe. ("Stuff" that's out there that we can't see.)
moon phases (basic four) The lighted portion of the moon seen from earth. The basic four phases are new, waxing, full and waning moon. The Chinese astronomers have observed and written down the moon phases for thousands of years.
natural resources The materials (plants, animals, water, minerals, gases, etc.) that were present when the earth was formed or that developed as the earth aged, without the help of human beings.
One of Arizona's most important natural resources is copper.
observe To watch or to see. People who observe and study the universe are called astronomers.
offspring In biology, a new animal (organism) produced by one or more parents. A "cub" is the offspring of bears; a child is the offspring of humans.
orbit The curved path of an object around a point in space. The earth's orbit around the sun is an ellipse.
organism Animals, fungi, plants or micro-organisms capable of reacting to stimuli (touch, heat, cold, etc.) Rio Vista gives a tee shirt to each organism (student) who attends the school.
photosynthesis A chemical process used by plants, algae, and some bacteria that uses energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into mainly sugar. The "waste" product is oxygen (O2).
physical change A change in texture, shape, color, volume, weight or density of an object or substance, that does not change its chemical nature. Making a baseball bat out of wood changes the shape of the wood and is a physical change.
physical properties Physical properties can of an object or substance are properties that can be measured. Physical properties include color, flexibility, location, melting point, strength and many others.
pollution Contaminants in the environment that harm the environment or living things. There are many kinds of pollution, but the one we hear most about is air pollution.
predator An animal, plant or any organism that hunts and eats its food; a hunter. The coyote is one predator which lives around Tucson.
prey The animal (an organism) which is hunted for food by a predator. Pack rats are a favorite prey of Bobcats.
rotation A circular movement of an object around a center or point. The earth takes 24 hours to complete one rotation on its axis.
scientific method The group of actions for investigating, getting new knowledge, or correcting previous knowledge. It consists of observation, measurement, and experiment, and the the formulation , testing, and the modification of hypothesis. As 4th grade students, you will be expected to use the scientific method for your science project.
solar system The sun and the planets, moons, asteroids, comets, etc., that orbit the sun.
The earth is the third plant from the sun in our solar system.
water cycle The water cycle describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the earth. Rain is part of the water cycle.
weathering The breaking down of rocks, soils, minerals and man-made materials by contact with the earth's atmosphere, waters, plants and animal life. In Arizona, the sun is responsible for most weathering.