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Essential Knowledge

Science Terms

Essential Knowledge TermsDefinition
Observation using your five senses to gather information from the world around you
Inference an interpretation (explanation) of events based on observation and prior knowledge
Quantitative Observations observations that are expressed in numbers (example: 4 meters)
Qualitative Observations observations that are descriptions that cannot be expressed in numbers (example: round, green)
Scientific Inquiry problem solving steps used in scientific investigations (purpose, research, hypothesis, procedures, data, conclusion)
Manipulated (independent) Variable the factor (part) of an experiment that is changed on purpose
Responding (dependent) Variable the factor (part) of an experiment that changes as a result of the manipulated variable
Taxonomy the classification levels of all organisms; domain, kingdom, phylum (or division for plants), class, order, family, genus, species
Cells the basic unit of living things; they grow, reproduce (by dividing), and die
DNA strands of genetic information shaped like a twisted ladder (double stranded helix)
Nitrogen Base Pairs Adenine pairs with Thymine (AT), Guanine pairs with Cytosine (GC); make up the steps of the DNA ladder
Chromosomes a specific piece of DNA that carries information for inherited traits; humans have 23 pairs (or 46 total)
Diffusion the spreading out of molecules from where there is a higher concentration to a lower concentration (can be air or water)
Osmosis the diffusion of water through a cell membrane
Photosynthesis process that uses water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide to produce food in the form of glucose (a type of sugar)
Respiration process that breaks down simple food molecules to release stored energy
Cell Cycle the life cycle of a cell - has three phases (interphase, mitosis, cytokinesis)
Heredity the passing of traits from parents to offspring
Genome a map of all the genes in the human body
Mutation a permanent change in the hereditary material of an organism (most likely resulting in harm to the organism)
Natural Selection A process in which individuals that are better adapted to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce than others.
Fossil Record a record of things that were once living that are now dead (is incomplete)
Human Body Systems many organs working together (digestive, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, muscular, skeletal, nervous)
Sexual Reproduction when 2 parents of opposite sexes are needed to produce offspring
Asexual Reproduction only 1 parent is needed to produce offspring (budding, fission, regeneration)
Gamete what sex cells are called (egg & sperm) - each parent gives 1/2 of required chromosomes to make an organism
Testes male gonads (where sperm is produced)
Ovaries female gonads (where eggs are produced)
Fertilization the process in which sperm unites (joins) with the egg
Biome the community of plants and animals that covers a large geographical area (includes deserts, forests, grasslands, chaparral, tundra, and aquatic)
Ecosystem all living and non-living parts of the environment
Population a group of the same species that lives in an area at the same time (ex: population of humans in Farmington = 45,000)
Community a group of plant and animal populations living together in the same environment; species - a group of organisms that successfully reproduce among themselves and produce fertile offspring
Primary Producer mostly green plants that make their food by photosynthesis
Primary Consumer plant-eating animals
Secondary Consumer predators that eat other animals
Decomposers organisms that break down dead plants and animals into nutrients
Adaptation specific features an animal has to help it survive in its environment (camouflage)
Food Chain the flow of energy from the sun to green plants, to animals
Sun the main source of energy for living things
Earth the only planet with matter found as a solid, liquid, and gas and has the ability to support life (has water and oxygen)
Igneous formed when molten rock cools
Metamorphic formed when sedimentary or igneous rock goes through a chemical change caused by intense heat or pressure
Sedimentary formed when sediments or organic material are compacted and cemented together
Organic materials that contain carbon and were alive @ one time
Inorganic materials that do not contain carbon & have never been alive
Atom the smallest part of matter
Protons particles that are positively charged
Neutrons particles that have no charge
Electrons particles that have a negative charge
Atomic Number the number of protons in an atom’s nucleus
Element any substance that cannot be broken down (example: O = oxygen)
Compound made up of 2 or more elements (example: H2O)
Molten melted rock found inside the earth
Created by: kfunston