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FTCE Middle Grades

Percent per 100 written with teh symbom %.
Decimal deci a part of ten
meter measure of lenngh
liter meausre of volume
gram measure of mass
deca 10X the base unit
hecto 100X the base unit
kilo 1000 X the base unit
chromatography uses the principles of capillary action to separate substances such as plant pigments.
Spectrophotometry uses percent light absobance to measure a color change, thus giving qualitative data a quantitative value.
Electrophoresis uses electrical charges of molecules to separate them according to their size. DNA
Graduated cylinder Used for precise measurements:read the bottom of the curve
buret used to dispense precisely measure volumes of liquid.
nucleus the brain of the cell
Chromosomes DNA, RNA and proteins tightly coiled in a cell
Chromatin loose structure of chromosomes. Chromosomes are called chromatin when the cell is not diving
Nucleolu where ribosomes are made. These are seen as dark spots in the nucleus.
nuclear membrane contains pores which let RNA out of the nucleus
ribosomes the site of protein synthesis
endoplasmic reticulum these are fold and provide a large surface area. They are the "roadway" of the cell and allow for tranport of materials.
Smooth endoplasmic reticulum contain no ribosomes on their surface
rough endoplasmic reticulmu contain ribosomes on their surface.
golgi complex functions to sort, modify and package molecules that are made in other parts of the cell.
Lysosomes found mainly in animal cells: contain digestive enzymes
mitochondria found only in animal cells. large organelles that make ATP. Muscle cells
plastides found in photosynthetic organisms only
chlorplasts green and dunction in photosynthesis; capable of trapping sunlight
chromoplasts make and store yellow and orange pigments; they provide color to leaves flowers and fruit
amyloplasts store starch and are used as a food reserve. they are abundant in roots like potatoes.
cell wall found in plant cells only, it is composed of cellulose and fibers
vacuoles hold stored food and pigments
cytoskeleton composed of protein filiments attached to the plasma membrane and organelles. They provide a framework for the cell and aid in cell movement.
cocci bacteria round
bacilli bacteria rod-shaped
spirilla bacteria spiral-shaped
plant tissues enables plants to grow larger
xylem transport water
phloem transport food- glucose
cortex storage of food and water
epideremis protective covering
endodermis controles movement between the cortex and teh cell interior
pericycle meristematic tissues that can divide when necessary
pith storage in stems
sclerenchyma and collenchyma support in stems
stomata openings on the underside of leaves
guard cells control the size of hte stomata
spongy mesophyll open spaces in the leaf that allow for circulation of gas
palisade mesophyll contain chloroplasts in leaves; site of photosynthesis
cotyledon small seed leaf that emerges when the seed germinates
endosperm food supply in the seed
Apical meristen this is an area of cell division allowing for growth
flowers are the reproductive organs of the plant
pedicel supports the weight of the plower
receptacle holds the floral organs at the base of the flower
sepals green leaf-like parts that cover the flower prior to blooming
petals contains coloration by pigments whose purpose is to attract insects to assist in pollination
anther male part that produces pollen
filament supports the anther; the filament and anther make up the stamen
stigma female part that holds pollen grains that came from the male portion
style tube that leads to the ovary
ovary contains the ovules; the stigma, style and ovary make up the carpel
annelida the segmented worms
mollusca clams, octopus soft-bodied animals
arthropoda insects, crustaceans, and spiders
echinodermata sea urchins and starfish
Chordata all animals with a notocord or a backbone
Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds.
antagonist in a work of literature is the character or force against which the main character, or protagonist, is pitted.
autobiography is a writer's account of his /her own life.
biography is an account of a person's life written by another person.
Cause and Effect A __ is an event or condition that brings about an __.
Chracter A person portrayed in an artistic piece, such as a drama or novel. A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.
Comparison and Contrast This explains how two subjects are alike and different. Look for words that signal comparisons, such as like, similar, similarly, both and in the same way. Look for words and phrases that signal contrast, such as unlike.
Conflict is the struggle between opposing forces and is the basis of plot in literature.
Connotation implied meaning of a word or phrase.
Context Clues One way to figure out the meaning of a word you don't know is by using context clues. The context of a word consists of the punctuation marks, other words, sentenced and paragraphs that surround the word.
Denotation dictionary definition of a word or phrase; obvious meaning for a term or phrase
Descriptive Writing allows you to paint word pictures about anything and everything in the world, for events of global importance to the most personal feelings. It is an essential part of writing, including essays, poems, letters, newspaper reports, and videos.
Dialogue is written conversation between two or more characters.
Drama is literature that develops plot and character through dialogue and action; drama is literature in play form.
Expository Writing informs and explains. For example, you can use it to evaluate the effects of a new law, to compare two moves, to analyze a piece of literature or to examine the problem of the greenhouse effect.
Fiction is literature that is narrative in nature. There are two major types novels and short stories. Both contain the basic elements of fiction: character, setting, plot and theme.
Figurative Language is language that communicates ideas beyond the literal meaning of the words. Examples of figurative language include: metaphor, hyperbole, personification, and simile.
Kinds of Sentences declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclamatory.
Main Idea of a paragraph is the basic point the writer is making in the paragraph.
Myth is a traditional story, usually concerning some supernatural being or unlikely event.
Narrative Writing tells a story. If you write a story form your imagination, it is a fictional narrative. A true story about actual events is a non-fictional narrative.can be found in short stories, novels, news articles and biographies.
Nonfiction is prose writing that is about real people, places and events. Unlike fiction, nonfiction is concerned with factual information.
Novel is an extended work of fiction. Like a short story, a novel is the product of a writer's imagination. The most obvious difference between a novel and a short story is length.
Parts of Speech: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction and interjection.
Persuasive/Argumentative Writing allows you to use the power of language to inform and influence other. It can take many forms, including speeches, newspaper editorials, billboards, advertisements, and critical reviews.
Plot refers to the chain of related events that take place in a story; the blueprint.
Point of View refers to the narrative method used in a short story, novel or nonfiction selection. Basic points of view include: first-person, third-person and omniscient.
Punctuation includes end marks: periods, question marks, exclamation points; commas; semicolons; colons; dashes; parentheses; hyphens; apostrophes; quotation marks; ellipses and italics.
Science Fiction is prose that presents the possibilities of the future using known scientific data and theories as well as the creative imagination of the writer.
Sentence is a group of words used to express a complete thought. A complete sentence has a subject and a predicate.
Setting is the time ad place of the action of a literary work
Style/Voice is the way in which a piece of literature is written; how it is said.
Supporting Details give you additional information about the main idea. The main idea may be stated directly, or it may be implied. If it is stated, it may appear anywhere in the paragraph. Often it appears in the first or the last sentence.
Theme is the central idea or message in a work of literature.
Thesis Statement expresses a main idea for writing. It may be woven into both the beginning and the end of nonfiction writing.
Topic Sentence states the main ideas of the paragraph; all other sentences in the paragraph provide supporting details. A topic sentence is often the first sentence in a paragraph.
area is the number of square units needed to cover a surface.
average is the number found by dividing the sum of a set of numbers by the number of addends. In other words, add all data entries and divide by the number of entries.
coefficient is the constant or number value in front of a variable.
collinear Lying on the same line. Two lines that are collinear lie on top of each other.
coordinate plane is formed when a horizontal line, called the x-axis, intersects a vertical line, called the y-axis, creating a gridded plane.
diameter is a line segment that passes through the center of a circle and has its endpoints on the circle.
factor is a number that is multiplied by another number to determine a product.
function is a relationship for which each value of x generates only one unique value of y.
greatest common factor is the largest factor that two or more numbers have in common.
least common multiple is the smallest non-zero number that is a common multiple to two or more numbers.
linear refers to an equation whose graph is a straight line.
multiple is the product of a given whole number and another number.
ordered pair is a pair of numbers used to locate a point on a coordinate plane. The first number tells you how far to move right or left from the origin. The second number tells you how far to move up or down from the location of the first point.
perimeter is the distance around a given figure.
prime number is a number greater than 1 for which the only "factors" (divisors) are 1 and the number itself.
proportion is an equation that shows two ratios as equal.
quartile Within a given set of data, the quartiles are values that separate the data into four equal parts, each part containing one fourth of the data.
radius is a line segment with one endpoint on the circle and the other endpoint on the circle's center.
ratio is a way of comparing two numbers by division. The ratio "4:5" means "4 divided by 5."
relationship is a set of ordered pairs.
scale is the ratio between two sets of measurements.
slope of a line refers to its direction and steepness. It is how far you must move up and then over to locate a new point on the same line.
slope-intercept form of an equation is y = mx + b, where m represents the slope of the line and b represents the y-intercept—the point at which the graph crosses the y-axis.
supplementary angles have angle measures that sum to 180 ° .
Surface area is the sum of the areas of all the surfaces (called faces) of a solid figure (a three-dimensional figure).
system of equations is a collection of two or more equations with the same set of variables.
Abiotic factors The nonliving components of ecosystems, such as water, light, soil, and chemicals.
Absolute dating A method of cultural dating involving finding the date in years; this works only if you know for sure when certain objects were made or used (For example, an "Elect Sherlock Holmes In 1996" button would only have been made during that election.)
Adaptation A physical characteristic or behavior that helps an organism survive in a given environment.
Aggressive Behavior A threatening behavior used to keep competitors away from a resource an animal wants to protect.
Air Mass Along a cold front, the upward movement of warm, moist air which can occur very quickly.
Amplitude A measurement of the height of the crest, or depth of the trough, from the midpoint of the wave.
Andromeda Galaxy The spiral galaxy closest to our Milky Way Galaxy; has about 300 billion stars and is about 1 1/2 times larger than the Milky Way.
Aqua culture Raising fish that survive and reproduce well in captivity in artificial ponds or bays.
Archaeology Finding and studying artifacts, ruins, bones, and fossils from the past.
Artifact Items made by humans.
Asteroid A small, rocky object revolving around the Sun, sometimes called a minor planet or planetoid. The vast majority of asteroids are found in the asteroid belt, a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The largest known asteroid, Ceres.
Asteroid Belt A region of space between Mars and Jupiter where the great majority of asteroids are found.
Atmosphere The blanket of air, dust, water droplets, ice particles, and so on, that completely covers the earth's lithosphere and hydrosphere; mainly nitrogen (4/5) and oxygen (1/5).
Atom The smallest particle into which an element can be divided and still have the properties of that element.
Atomic mass The average mass of one atom of an element.
Atomic number The number of protons in the nucleus of one atom of an element.
Behavior A coordinated sequence of neuromuscular activity that helps an animal survive.
best-fit line A straight line or smooth curve that illustrates the pattern of data points in a line graph.
Bio accumulation The increasing concentration of pollutants in organisms at higher trophic levels in a food chain or web.
Biome A group of ecosystems covering a large geographic area with similar climates and organisms.
Biotic factors The living components of ecosystems.
Black hole A dense, compact object whose gravitational pull is so strong that nothing can escape, not even light.
Boreal forest A cold, wet forest biome dominated by evergreen coniferous trees found in the northern hemisphere south of the tundra and the polar ice cap.
Canyon A narrow, deep, steep-sided opening in the earth's surface with steep cliff walls, cut into the earth by running water; also known as a gorge.
Carnivores Consumer organisms that eat only animal matter.
Cell The basic unit and structure of all living things.
Cell division The process by which cells divide to form new cells.
Chemical Behavior A type of communicative behavior that uses hormones or other chemicals to send signals to other animals.
Chemical equation A way of writing changes in the arrangement of atoms during a chemical reaction, using chemical symbols.
Chemical nature How active and harmful a pollutant is to specific types of organisms.
Chemical properties of matter Characteristics that relate to the activity of one substance with one or more other substances.
Chemical reaction A change that takes place when two or more substances interact to form new substances.
Chemical reactivity When substances combine to form a new substance that cannot be changed back into the original substances. The new substance has its own set of physical properties.
Chemical symbol A one- or two-letter code that stands for an element.
classification Using clear, unambiguous criteria to sort objects or phenomena into categories based on observed similarities and differences.
Clear-cutting A logging practice where all of the trees in a forest are cut down at once.
Commensalism An interaction in which one organism benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed.
communication Using verbal, numerical, or graphic representations to share information with others.
Communicative Behavior A sensory signal used to send a message to, or share information with, other animals.
Community All of the populations of all species of organisms living and interacting in the same environment.
Competition An interaction in which two or more organisms of the same or different species struggle with each other to obtain a limited resource.
Compound Matter made of two or more elements.
Concentration The amount of a pollutant found per given unit of air, water, soil, or body weight, such as parts per million.
Condensation The changing of a vapor into a liquid.
Conduction The process of conveying heat by transmission from one particle (molecule) of one solid to another when objects are in contact with each other.
Conglomerate rocks Sedimentary rocks that are made up of large sediments like sand and pebbles. The sediments are so large that pressure alone cannot hold the rock together; it is also cemented together with dissolved minerals.
Conservation Wise use of natural resources that minimizes negative environmental impacts and ensures continued resource availability.
Consumers Organisms that consume other organisms in order to obtain food energy; also called heterotrophs.
controlled variable A variable that could affect the outcome of an experiment but is prevented from doing so.
Convection The transfer of heat as a result of the particles (molecules) of a warm fluid (liquid or gas) moving from one place to another.
Convection Currents The movement of a fluid caused by unequal densities of portions of the fluid that have been heated unequally.
Courtship and Mating Behavior A behavior designed to increase an animal's chances of finding a mate and successfully producing offspring.
Cultural dating Estimating the period from which an object came by comparing it to what you already know about various time periods.
data table An organized display of recorded observations of manipulated and responding variables collected during an experiment.
Deciduous forest A forest biome with fairly consistent rainfall and distinct seasonal temperature changes dominated by deciduous hardwood trees.
Decomposers Bacteria, fungi, and other organisms that break down the complex organic molecules of dead organisms into simpler inorganic compounds.
Defensive Behavior A behavior used to protect an animal from harm.
Degradable A pollutant that can be broken down over time by natural physical, chemical, or biological processes.
Dendrochronology Tree ring counting, one of the oldest forms of scientific dating, used since the 1700's. (Trees grow new rings every year, and the width is affected by climate.)
Density The amount of mass in a certain amount of volume.
Depletion time The time experts say it will take to deplete known reserves of minerals at current rates of use.
Desert A dry biome with few or no plants that experiences extreme temperatures and receives less than 25 centimeters of rainfall per year.
direct evidence is that which is gathered by observation with one or more of the five senses.
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid; the material found in a cell's nucleus that determines the genetic traits of the organism.
Dominance and Submission Behaviors Behaviors that allow social animals to establish and maintain a hierarchy and reduce aggressive encounters.
Doppler Radar A type of radar that calculates distance and shows direction of movement.
Earthquake The sudden movement of rock along a fault which releases energy vibrations.
Ecosphere All of the Earth's ecosystems
Ecosystem: All of the communities of living organisms and the non-living components of a particular environment.
Electrical energy The energy produced from primary sources (coal, oil, and gas) by generator or power station. The electrical current (the flow of electrons through a circuit) produced is used for electrical power for heat, light, and movement energy.
Elements Substances that are the building blocks of all matter. An element is made up of one kind of atom.
Energy The characteristic of an object or system which enables it to do work.
Energy pyramid A diagram illustrating the amount of energy transferred and lost at each level of a food chain or food web.
Erosion Happens mainly as a result of weathering. Erosion is a key part of the Rock Cycle.
Eutrophication The gradual death of a lake or pond ecosystem due to pollution from excess nutrients.
EVA - Extravehicular Activity An extravehicular activity is an activity undertaken by an astronaut outside a spacecraft or space station during a mission (for example, to make a repair).
Evaporation The changing of a substance from a liquid into a vapor.
Excavation Digging up artifacts, fossils, and other items from the past.
Feeding Behavior A behavior an animal consistently displays in order to find and consume food.
Fishery An area with a large population of valuable ocean organisms.
Food chain A linear diagram of the flow of energy through an ecosystem.
Food web A complex network of the multiple paths of energy flow in an ecosystem.
Forecast A prediction of what the weather will be like.
Fossils Once-living plants or animals, or their imprints; the remains of animals and plants, or the record of their presence, preserved in the rocks of the Earth
Fossilization is the process that turns a once living thing into a fossil.
Fossil fuels The energy-rich substances formed from the remains of organisms.
Frequency The number of vibrations per time period, usually one second; measured in hertz, or events per time period (for example, 60 vibrations in one second, or 60 hertz [Hz]).
Galaxy A collection of a large number of stars bound together by gravity.
Galaxy cluster An enormous group of galaxies that swarm into clusters held together by their mutual gravity.
Gamma ray Light with the shortest wavelengths and the highest energies and frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum; also called gamma radiation.
Gas Does not have a definite size or shape; takes the size and shape of its container.
Gene Segment of DNA, found on a chromosome, that determines the inheritance of a particular trait.
Genetics The branch of biology that studies the ways in which hereditary information is passed on from parents to offspring.
Glacier forms when more snow falls each winter than melts the next summer. The accumulation of snow above presses down on the layers below, compacting them into ice.
Gneiss rocks Metamorphic rocks that may have been granite, which is an igneous rock, but heat and pressure changed them. You can see how the mineral grains in the rock were flattened through tremendous heat and pressure and are now arranged in alternating patterns.
Granite rocks Igneous rocks which were formed by slowly cooling pockets of magma that were trapped beneath the earth's surface. Granite is used for durable monuments and for trim and decoration on buildings.
graph A pictorial representation of data.
Grassland A biome with more rainfall than a desert but less than a forest that is dominated by grasses and experiences a prolonged dry season each year.
Groundwater Water stored in soil and rock beneath the Earth's surface.
Gypsum rocks Sedimentary rocks made up of sulfate mineral and formed as the result of evaporating sea water in massive prehistoric basins. Gypsum is very soft and is used to make Plaster of Paris, casts, molds, and wallboards.
Hazardous wastes Solids, liquids, or gaseous wastes that are harmful to humans and other organisms even in low concentrations.
Herbivores Consumer organisms that eat only plant matter.
Heredity The passing of traits from one generation to another.
Hurricane A large tropical storm that forms over warm water.
hypothesis A tentative explanation of the relationship between a manipulated and a responding variable in an experiment.
Igneous Rock formed by magma or lava.
inference Using observations and patterns of observations to explain a present or past event or phenomenon.
Infrared telescope An instrument that collects the infrared radiation emitted by celestial objects.
Instinctive Behavior A behavior an animal is born knowing how to correctly demonstrate.
Interferometer An instrument that combines the signal from two or more telescopes to produce a sharper image than the telescopes could achieve separately.
Interstellar Dust Small particles of solid matter, similar to smoke, in the space between stars.
Jets Narrow, high-energy streams of gas and other particles generally ejected in two opposite directions from some central source.
Jets appear to originate in the vicinity of an extremely dense object, such as a black hole, pulsar, or proto star, with a surrounding accretion disk.
Kinetic energy The energy molecules in motion.
Keystone species A species whose role is essential to the maintenance of a balanced ecological community.
Lava Melted rock above ground.
Learned Behavior A behavior that is acquired as a result of practice or experience.
Light year The distance that a particle of light (photon) will travel in a year at a constant speed of 186,000 mph (300,000 km/s) — about 10 trillion kilometers (6 trillion miles). It is a useful unit for measuring distances between stars.
Limestone rocks Sedimentary rocks that are made from the mineral calcite which came from the beds of evaporated seas and lakes and from sea animal shells. This rock is used in concrete and is an excellent building stone for humid regions.
Limiting factors Biotic and abiotic factors that determine how many organisms of a given species can survive over the long-term in an ecosystem.
Liquid Has a definite size, but does not have a definite shape of its own; takes the shape of its container.
Magma Melted rock below ground.
Magnetic energy A magnet or current-carrying wire that is experiencing a magnetic force.
Manipulated/Independent variable A variable changed on purpose.
Mass The amount of material or matter that is in an object.
Matter Anything that has weight and takes up space.
Meteorologist A person who studies the weather.
Metric/SI Measurement Using metric/SI units to describe quantifiable physical properties of objects, such as length, volume, mass, weight, and temperature.
Meiosis The division of the nucleus of sex cells that results in the number of chromosomes being halved.
Metamorphic Rock formed from existing rock.
Milky Way Galaxy a spiral galaxy, is the home of Earth, the sun, and the rest of our solar system. The Milky Way contains more than 100 billion stars, has a diameter of 100,000 light-years, and belongs to the Local Group of galaxies.
Mineral resource A concentration of a naturally occurring solid material in or on the Earth's crust.
Mitosis The division of the nucleus that results in the replication and division of the parent cell into two identical daughter cells.
MMU Manned Maneuvering Unit The manned maneuvering unit is a one-man propulsion backpack that snaps onto the back of the space suit's portable life-support system.
Molecule The smallest particle of a substance that still has the properties of that substance.
Moon A large body orbiting a planet. On the Earth's only moon, scientists have not detected life, water, or oxygen. The Moon orbits our planet in about 28 days.
Mountain High, steeply sloped areas of the Earth's surface formed by the upward movement of rock. Mountains are found on land and on the ocean floor.
Mountains and Ice Areas of land containing mountain ranges or thick sheets of ice that are not part of any major land biome.
Mutualism An interaction in which both organisms benefit.
NaCl Is the chemical symbol for the most common type of salt in the ocean , plainold table salt.
Natural resource Anything in the environment that is used by people.
Natural selection A process that allows organisms whose characteristics are best suited for their environment to survive and pass these adaptations on to their offspring.
Nebula Cloud of interstellar gas and dust that looks like a light or dark fuzzy patch in the sky.
Nebular Theory The idea that our solar system originated in a contracting, rotating cloud of gas that flattened to form a disk as it contracted.
Neutron Star An extremely compact ball of neutrons created from the central core of a star that collapsed under gravity during a supernova explosion.
Niche The role an organism plays in its environment.
Non-point source Pollution that comes from many dispersed, hard-to-identify sources.
Nonrenewable resource A natural resources that exists in limited amounts or cannot be naturally replaced in a useful time period.
Nuclear energy Energy produced by nuclear fission by splitting atoms or by nuclear fusion when nuclei are bonded or fused together.
observation Using the five senses to collect qualitative and/or quantitative information about an object or phenomenon.
Obsidian rocks Igneous rocks that form when lava cools quickly above ground. Obsidian is actually glass and not a mixture of minerals. The edges of this rock are very sharp.
Omnivores Consumer organisms that eat both plant and animal matter.
Optical Telescope gathers and magnifies visible light. The two basic types of optical telescopes are refracting (using lenses) and reflecting (using mirrors).
Orbit The path taken by heavenly bodies (planets, comets, moons, and stars) during their periodic revolutions around another heavenly body.
Organ A structure made of two of more different tissues which has a specialized function;for example, lungs, liver, pistil.
Organelles The structures in the cytoplasm of a cell that carry out cell activities; for example, mitochondria, nucleus, Golgi bodies.
Organism Any living thing, whether plant or animal.
Paleontology The study of fossils; paleontologists study these fossils and attempt to use them to reconstruct the history of life on Earth.
Parental Behavior A behavior of male or female parent animals that helps their offspring survive.
Parasitism An interaction in which one organism (parasite) feeds on or in another organism (host).
Periodic table A chart where all elements are organized into periods and groups according to their properties.
Permafrost A layer of soil found on the tundra that remains frozen year-round.
Persistence How long a pollutant can last or stay in the air, water, soil, or body of an organism.
Physical properties of matter Characteristics of matter that can be observed by one or more of the senses.
Pioneer species The first species to colonize a new or disturbed area.
Planet An object that orbits a star. Although smaller than stars, planets are relatively large and shine with reflected light. Planets are made up mostly of rock or gas, with a small, solid core.
Planetary Nebula An expanding shell of glowing gas expelled by a star late in its life. Our sun will create a planetary nebula at the end of its life.
Plate Tectonics The theory that the earth's outer shell is composed of large plates whose movement explains earthquake and volcanic activity.
Point source Pollution that comes from a single, identifiable source.
Pollution Any undesirable change in air, soil, water, or food sources that adverselyaffects the health or survival of humans and other organisms.
Population A group of individuals of the same species living in the same habitat at the same time.
Population density The number of individuals of a given species per unit area in an ecosystem.
Potential energy The stored energy of molecules by virtue of its position; energy that is at rest.
PPT Is the abbreviation for "Parts Per Thousand," units that measure salinity.
Predation An interaction in which one organism (predator) kills and eats another (prey).
prediction PPT Using observations and patterns of observations to forecast a future event.
Prehistory History that occurred before the development of writing.
Pressure The amount of force that presses on a certain area.
Primary succession The development of new communities of organisms in areas with no existing life.
Producers Green plants, phytoplankton, and bacteria that use the process of photosynthesis or chemosynthesis to make their own food; Also called autotrophs.
Proto star A dense region at the center of a star formation; a young star.
Pulsar Object that emits radiation from a rotating neutron star in the form of rapid pulses.
Punnett Square A diagram used in the field of genetics to show possible gene combinations for a cross.
Quasar An object produced by gas falling into a super massive black hole in the center of a galaxy.
Radiation A method of transferring energy; for example, heat energy sent out in waves from a warm object.
Reflecting telescope A type of telescope, also known as a reflecting telescope, that uses one or more polished, curved mirrors to gather light and reflect it to a focal point.
Relative dating The method of cultural dating used when you don't know exactly when an object was made. (You would compare it to other objects and decide it is older than this, but younger than that.)
Relative Humidity Measure of the amount of water vapor in a given amount of air at a certain temperature compared to the maximum amount it can hold at that temperature.
Renewable resource A natural resource that is either always available or naturally replaced in a relatively short time.
Reserves Known deposits of nonrenewable resources from which the resource can be extracted profitably with current technology.
Responding/Dependent variable that might change as a result of changes in the manipulated variable.
RNA Ribonucleic acid; a type of nucleic acid that is necessary for protein synthesis.
Salinity Is the term used to describe the amount of dissolved salts found in ocean water.
Sandstone rocks made from small grains of the minerals quartz and feldspar. They often form in layers as seen in this picture. They are often used as building stones.
Satellite An object that revolves around a larger object. Planetary moons are natural satellites.
Scavengers Consumer carnivores like catfish and vultures that eat the bodies of animals that are already dead.
Schist rocks Metamorphic rocks that can be formed from basalt, an igneous rock; shale, a sedimentary rock; or slate, a metamorphic rock. These rocks were transformed into schist through tremendous heat and pressure.
Scientific dating Analyzing an object in a laboratory using scientific methods in order to find the date.
Scoria rocks Igneous rocks which were formed when lava cooled quickly above ground. You can see where little pockets of air had formed. Scoria is actually a kind of glass and not a mixture of minerals.
Secondary succession The development of new communities of organisms in areas where existing plants have been removed but soil or bottom sediment still exists.
Selective cutting A logging practice where only some of the trees in a forest are cut down at a given time.
Shale rock A type of sedimentary rock formed from clay that is compacted by pressure. Shale rocks are used to make bricks and other material fired in kilns.
Simulation is an experience similar to the real thing; for example, role playing or participating in an engaged way on a virtual tour in which problem solving is done or decisions made. A simulation can be thought of as a type of model.
Social Behavior A behavioral interaction between two or more members of the same species that maintains order and helps the animals live successfully in a cohesive group.
Solar energy Energy collected from the sun's rays.
Solar Flare An enormous explosion of gas in the solar atmosphere resulting in a sudden burst of particle acceleration, the heating of plasma and the eruption of large amounts of solar mass.
Solar System The sun and its surrounding matter, including asteroids, comets, planets, and moons (held together by the sun's gravitational influence).
Solar Wind contains streams of charged particles flowing from the sun at millions of kilometers per hour. This high-speed solar wind varies in composition, always streams away from the sun, and interacts with other regions of matter in the solar system.
Solid Has a definite size and shape of its own.
Space-Time The four-dimensional coordinate system (three dimensions of space and one of time) in which physical events are located.
Species A group of organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring.
Star A gaseous, self-luminous object held together by its own gravity.
The core of a star is extremely hot and releases energy by fusing lighter atomic nuclei into heavier nuclei.
Our sun, the center of our solar system, is a star of average temperature and size.
States of matter Solids, liquids, and gases.
Succession The gradual change in species composition in an ecosystem over time.
Sun The star at the center of our solar system. An average star in terms of size and mass, the sun is a yellow dwarf about five billion years old that has a diameter more than 100 times that of Earth.
Sunspot A region on the sun's photosphere that is cooler and darker than the surrounding material. Sunspots often appear in pairs or groups with specific magnetic polarities that indicate electromagnetic origins.
Super cluster A group of several clusters of galaxies formed into one massive cluster.
Super massive Black Hole possessing as much mass as a million or a billion stars.
Super massive black holes reside in the centers of galaxies and are the engines that power active galactic nuclei and quasars.
Supernova The explosive death of a star massive star whose energy output causes its expanding gases to glow brightly for weeks or months. Caused by nuclear burning or gravitational collapse.
Surface water of the Earth found in rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams.
Sustainable forestry Maintaining a constant balance between the amount of forest harvested and the amount of forest replanted.
Symbiosis A close interaction between two different species of organisms in which at least one of the organisms benefits (commensalism, mutualism, parasitism).
System A group of organs that work together to do a specific function for an organism, such as respiratory, circulatory, or reproductive functions.
Temperate rainforest A wet forest biome with mild temperatures found along the coast of the northwest U.S. and southwestern Canada.
Temperature of a form of matter describes how cold or hot it is.
Territorial Behavior A signal animals use in the established areas in which they live to identify boundaries and warn competitors of their presence.
The Water Cycle The process by which water is continually recycling between the earth's surface and the atmosphere; also called the hydrologic cycle.
Thunderstorms A storm produced by large, rising columns of warm, moist air and characterized by thunder, lightning, and heavy precipitation.
Tides Are the vertical rising and lowering of sea level, and are greatly controlled by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon.
Tissue A group of cells that work together to do a specific function; for example, muscle, nerve, tree bark.
Tornado A violent funnel-shaped cloud with extremely strong winds.
Trade Winds (20 degree latitudes) blow east to west.
Traits A distinguishing quality or feature.
Tropical rainforest A warm, wet, and diverse forest biome found near the equator with a year-round growing season.
Tundra A cold, windy, and dry biome containing few low-growing plants found only in the northern hemisphere just south of the polar ice cap.
Ultraviolet (UV) Electromagnetic radiation with shorter wavelengths and higher energies and frequencies than visible light. UV light is lower in frequency than X-rays.
Universe The totality of space and time, along with all the matter and energy in it. Current scientific theories assert that the universe is expanding and that all its matter and energy was created during the Big Bang.
variable a factor that can change in an experiment.
Visible Light Electromagnetic radiation that human eyes can detect; also known as the visible spectrum.
The visible colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, along with various combinations and shades of these colors. Within the visible part of the spectrum, red light has a longer wavelength than blue light.
visual display is a representation of data, a process, or how something works in visual form; for example, a chart, graph, concept map, timeline, map, spreadsheet, picture, animation, or video.
Volcano A mountain that may form around an opening in the Earth's surface where an eruption of molten rock occurs.
Volume The amount of space taken up by an object.
Waves Are actually energy. Energy, not water, moves across the ocean's surface. Water particles only travel in a small circle as a wave.
Wavelength The distance between identical successive parts of a wave, from the top of one crest of a wave to the top of the following crest.
Weather Map show patterns in the data to aid in forecasting the weather; used by meteorologists.
Weight The measure of force or pull of the earth's gravity on the mass of an object.
Westerlies (40-50 degree latitudes) blow west to east.
X-ray Telescope that uses electromagnetic radiation with very short wavelengths and very high energies and frequencies.
X-rays fall between gamma rays and ultraviolet radiation; also called X-radiation or Roentgen ray.
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