Science Words

The word wall is organized in the order that the terms were taught. Use the browser"s "find" function (CTRL+F in Windows, Command+F in Mac)
Biomes (Interdependence of Plants and Animals)
individual A single organism (plant or animal) in an environment.
environment All of the different parts of an area that affects the growth of organisms (water, air, land).
Organisms living together in an environment.
energy pyramid
Shows the amount of energy available to pass from one level of a food chain to the next.
symbiosis A relationship between different kinds of organisms. It may benefit just one or both of the organisms.
instinct A behavior an organism inherits.
exotic An organism that is not native to its environment.
extinct An organism that is no longer in existence.
A group of organisms that is likely to become extinct if it is not saved.
threatened A group of organisms that is likely to become endangered if it is not protected
ecosystem A community and its physical environment.
habitat A place in an ecosystem where a population lives.
niche The job of a population in its habitat.
food chain The way that things in an ecosystem interact with each other based on what they eat.
food web
The interactions among many different food chains in one ecosystem.
producer An organism that makes its own food.
herbivore An organism that eats mainly plants.
carnivore An organism that eats mainly animals.
predator An animal that lives by eating other animals.
prey An animal that is eaten by other animals.
adaptation The adjustment of an organism to the conditions of its environment.
decomposers An organism that breaks down other dead or decaying organisms
biome A major community that exists in certain climates or environments.
desert A dry area with little or no precipitation or vegatation.
tundra A treeless are in Arctic regions where the soil underground is permanently frozen.
taiga Forest biomes that are primarily made up of evergreen trees (such as pine trees).
A biome in which grass is the dominant form of plant life.
deciduous forest
Forest biomes that are primarily made up of trees which shed their leaves at the end of their growing season.
tropical A biome with temperatures which support plant growth year-round.
rain forest
A biome with a high amount of rainfall annually.

model A representation of an object based on known and inferred properties. (Like our stream tables).
boundary The border or an area.
structure Something built by people.
map A drawing or picture that shows the features and details of an area as seen from above.
cartographer A person who makes maps.
grid Vertical and horizontal lines that form squares.
atlas A book of maps.
mountain Land that is significantly higher than its surroundings.
canyon A crack or ravine that is formed by a river in an area with a small amount of rainfall.
plateau A flat, high piece of land.
dune A ridge of sand or dirt built by wind.
valley A low place surrounded by higher land.
meander A bend or curve in a river.
plain Level, open land.
floodplain A plain located near a river where floods occur.
delta An triangular alluvial fan located where a smaller bod of water enters a larger body of water.
beach An slope of land along a large body of water.
drainage basin
A system of rivers and streams that drains an area.
erosion The process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by moving water.
alluvial fan
A fan-shaped sediment deposit where a stream flows from a steep slope onto flat land.
deposition The settling of eroded sediments in another place.
sediments Eroded earth materials that have been deposited.
channel The path water takes.
weathering Rock is broken down into smaller pieces.
slope The slant of a stream channel or the surface of land.
flood A very heavy flow of water causing a water body to overflow its banks.
flash flood
Sudden flooding caused by sudden, very heavy rainfall, ice thaw, or dam failure.
glacier A large mass of moving ice.

water cycle
The cycle through which water is circulated on and over the earth.
evaporation Collected water on the ground is turned into its gas state by the sun and goes into the air.
transpiration Trees release water through their leaves into the air. (Tree pee! ;-) )
condensation Water that is returning to its liquid state due to cold air. This is demonstrated both by clouds or water droplets forming on cups containing water.
precipitation Water in its liquid state falling from a cloud. (Rain, snow, sleet, hail).
run-off Water that has fallen as precipitation that runs to collection points.
collection A place where water collects (streams, branches, creeks, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, oceans, underground caves, underground springs, ground water, water table).
ground water
Water that is located beneath the ground. Water soaks into the ground after precipitation occurs.
clouds The result of condensation. Places where water comes together in the air.
cumulus A fluffy or puffy cloud. (Cirrocumulus, Altocumulus, Stratocumulus, Cumulus, Cumulonimbus).
stratus A cloud that looks more like a mist or fog. (Cirrostratus, Altostratus, Stratus, Nimbostratus, Fog).
cirro- Prefix naming clouds that form high (above 20,000 ft./6,000 m.) in the atmosphere (usually made up of ice crystals). (Cirrus, Cirrostratus, Cirrocumulus, Cumulonimbus)
alto- Prefix naming clouds that form in the middle of the atmosphere (6,000-20,000 ft./2,000-6,000 m). (Altostratus, Altocumulus, Cumulonimbus)
strato- Prefix naming clouds that form low in the atmopshere at Mt. Mitchell"s height and lower. In Asheville, these clouds are generally very close to the ground. (Below 6,000 ft./2,000 m.). (Stratus, Nimbostratus, Stratocumulus, Cumulus, Cumulonimbus, Fog).
nimbo-/-nimbus Prefix/Suffix naming clouds that usually accompany rain or storms. (Nimbostratus, Cumulonimbus).
weather Conditions including temperature, humidity, air pressure, location of the sun, ground and water temperature, and precipitation at a given point in time.
climate The average weather over a period of time.
polar zone
(frigid zone)
The coldest part of earth located near the poles. They receive constant or semi-constant sunlight for about half of the year. This area is generally covered with ice or tundra.
temperate zone
The part of earth located between the polar and tropical zones. The temperature usually averages out with warm to hot summers and mild to cold winters. The sun shines on this area for varying lengths of time at different parts of the year.
tropical zone
(torrid zone)
The part of earth located near the equator. The sun shines directly on this area year-round. The temperatures remain constant through most of the year.
wind Moving air.
The wind zone near the poles of the earth. The winds tend to blow toward the East.
westerlies The wind zone in the lower part of the polar zone and upper part of the temperate zone. The winds tend to blow toward the West.
tradewinds The wind zone centered around the tropical zone and southern parts of the trade-winds. The winds blow in circles in this area.
prevailing westerlies
The winds that typically blow from the high pressure to the low pressure areas. This is the cause of most of North Carolina"s weather.
ocean breeze/
sea breeze
Wind the blows in off of the ocean. Typically cooler than the air on land.
land breeze
Wind that blows across land. Typically warmer than the air on large bodies of water.
cold front
The front of a moving mass of colder air.
warm front
The front of a moving mass of warmer air.
occluded front
(stationary front)
A front where a cold front has overtaken a warm front.
air pressure
The weight of air.
high pressure
A colder air mass which pushes the warmer air masses up in the atmosphere. Winds flow outward from high pressure systems.
low pressure
A warmer air mass that is pushed into the atmosphere by a cooler mass of air. Wind flows inward with low pressure systems.
thunderstorms A storm that is created by rising air currents.
cyclones A rapid circulation of air around a low pressure system. These are known as cyclones, hurricanes, tornadoes, waterspouts, and dust devils.

Forces & Motion/Models & Design

position The location of an object in relation to a known object.
motion A change in position. Movement.
speed The time it takes for motion to occur.
forces A push or a pull.
gravity The earth"s pull.
weight The way that we measure the earth"s pull on an object.
pressure A force applied evenly across the surface of an object.
energy The potential force in an object.
transfer A movement of force from one object to another.
friction The release of energy as heat.
inertia The tendency of an object to stay in motion or stay still.
momentum A force that causes movement to continue.
acceleration A change in speed.
simple machines
A device that harnesses or overcomes forces to help us do work. Simple machines provide a balanced force to move objects or to change the directions of objects.
lever/fulcrum A bar (lever) which is balanced on a pivot point (fulcrum) to give mechanical advantage. Scissors, crow bars, and our arms are examples of levers.
wheel and axle
A circular frame (wheel) which rotates on a bar (axle). Cars, wheelbarrows, trains use wheels and axles.
pulley A wheel with a groove in it through which a rope can run in order to help with lifting or moving objects. Cars use pulleys to run, cranes use pulleys to lift objects.
inclined plane
A plane with an angle which helps us move objects up or down from one level to another. Ramps and driveways are examples of these.
wedge A triangular shape that is used to split or separate something.
screw An inclined plane which is spiraled around a shaft. Screws, mountain roads, parking garages, and light bulbs are examples of these.
gears A wheel with teeth that works with another wheel with teeth in order to change the speed or direction of movement of an object.
compound machine
A machine built out of a combination of simple machines.
model A representation of an object based on known and inferred properties. (Like our black boxes).
(mechanical design)
To create a plan for a machine to solve a problem.
test A way of checking to make sure that a design works properly.