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Glossary for your science journal
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It is important for students to understand and use new science words. Many areas of science have words specific to the topic at hand. All our science journals have a glossary in the back to help us keep track of our new science vocabulary.

Abiotic -
Nonliving-physical feature of the environment, including air, water, sunlight, soil, temperature and climate.
Air mass -
Large body of air that has the same characteristics of temperature and moisture content as the part of Earth's surface over which it formed.
Atmosphere -
Earth's air, which is made up of a thin layer of gasses, solids and liquids; forms a protective layer around the planet and is divided into five distinctive layers.
Axis -
Straight line about which an object turns. The axis of the Earth is a line from the North Pole to the South Pole.
Biosphere -
Part of Earth that supports life, including the top portion of the Earth's crust, the atmosphere, and all the water on Earth's surface.
Blizzard -
Winter storm that lasts at least three hours with temperatures of -12 C or below, poor visibility, and winds of at least 51km/hr.
Climate -
Average weather conditions of an area over time, including wind, temperature, and rainfall or other types of precipitation such as snow or sleet.
Condensation -
Change of matter from a gas to a liquid state.
Conduction -
Transfer of thermal energy by direct contact; occurs when energy is transferred by collisions between particles.
Conductor -
Material that transfers heat easily.
Controlled Experiment -
Involves changing one factor and observing its effect on one thing while keeping all other things constant.
Convection -
Transfer of thermal energy by the movement of particles from one place to another in a gas or liquid. Transfer of heat by the flow of material.
Density -
Mass of an object divided by its volume.
Dependent Variable -
Variable that changes as a result of a change in the independent variable.
Desert -
driest biome on Earth with less than 26cm of rain each year; has dunes or thin soil with little organic matter, where plants and animals are adapted to survive extreme conditions.
Dew Point -
Temperature at which air is saturated and condensation forms.
Earth Science -
Study of Earth systems and systems in space, including weather and climate systems, and the study of nonliving things such as rocks, oceans and planets.
Energy -
The ability to cause change.
Equator -
The imaginary line or circle around the middle of the Earth halfway between the North Pole and South Pole.
Equinox -
Either of two times of the year when the Sun crosses the equator and the length of day and night are equal.
Evaporation -
Process that takes place when a liquid changes to a gas.
Fog -
A stratus cloud that forms when air is cooled to its dew point near the ground.
Freezing -
Change of matter from a liquid state to a solid state.
Front -
Boundary between two air masses with different temperatures, density, or moisture; can be cold, warm, occluded, and stationary.
Gas -
Matter that does not have a definite shape or volume; has particles that move at high speeds in all directions.
Heat -
Movement of thermal energy from a substance at a higher temperature to a substance at a lower temperature.
Humidity -
Amount of water vapor held in the air.
Hurricane -
Large, severe storm that forms over tropical oceans, has winds of at least 120 km/hr, and loses power when it reaches land.
Hydrosphere -
All the water on the Earth's surface.
Ionosphere -
Layer of electrically charged particles in the thermosphere that absorbs AM radio waves during the day and reflects them back at night.
Isobars -
Lines drawn on a weather map that connects points having equal atmospheric pressure; also indicate the location of high-and-low pressure areas and can show wind speed.
Isotherm -
Line drawn on a weather map that connects points having equal temperature.
Jet Stream -
Narrow belt of strong winds that blow near the top of the Troposphere.
Kinetic Energy -
Energy an object ha due to its motion.
Land Breeze -
Movement of air from land to sea at night, created when cooler, denser air from the land forces up warmer air over the sea.
Latitude -
Distance north or south of the Equator measured in degrees. A degree of latitude is about 69 mikes.
Length of Day -
Hours, minutes and seconds of daylight. The time between sunrise and sunset.
Liquid -
Matter with a definite volume but no definite shape that can flow from one place to another. Matter - Anything that takes up space and has mass.
Longitude -
Distance east or west on the Earths surface, measured in degrees from a certain meridian (line from the North Pole to the South Pole). Usually the meridian through Greenwich, England is used as the starting point.
Melting -
Change of matter from a solid to a liquid state.
Meterologist -
Studies weather and uses information from Doppler radar, weather satellites, computers and other instruments to make weather maps and provide forecasts.
Model -
Any representation of an object or an event that is used as a tool for understanding the natural world; can communicate observations and ideas, test predictions, and save time, money and lives.
Ozone Layer -
Layer of the Stratosphere with a high concentration of ozone; absorbs most of the Sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Potential Energy -
Energy stored in an object due to it position.
Precipitation -
Water falling from clouds - including rain, snow, sleet and hail - whose form is determined by air temperature.
Pressure -
Force exerted on a surface divided by the total area over which the force is exerted.
Radiant Energy -
Energy carried by light.
Radiation -
Energy transferred by waves or rays.
Relative Humidity -
Measure of the amount of moisture held in the air compared with the amount it can hold at a given temperature; can range from 0 percent to 100 percent.
Sea Breeze -
Movement of air from sea to land during the day when cooler air from above the water moves over the land, forcing the heated, less dense air above the land to rise.
Seasons -
One of four periods of the year beginning with a solstice or equinox.
Soil -
Mixture of mineral and rock particles, the remains of dead organisms, air, and water that form the topmost layer of Earth's crust and supports plant growth.
Solid -
Matter with a definite shape and volume; has tightly packed particles that move mainly by vibrating.
Solstice -
Either of two times of the year when the Sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator. Pertaining to the longest and shortest days of the year.
Station Model -
Indicates weather conditions at a specific location, using a combination of symbols on a map.
Surface Tension -
The uneven forces acting on the particles on the surface of a liquid.
System -
Collection of structure, cycles, and processes that relate to and interact with each other.
Temperature -
Measure of the average kinetic energy of the individual particles of a substance.
Thermal Energy -
The sum of the kinetic and potential energy of the particles in a material.
Thermal Pollution -
Increase in temperature of a natural body of water; cause by adding warmer water.
Tornado -
Violent, whirling windstorm that crosses land in a narrow path and can result from wind shears inside a thunderhead.
Troposphere -
Layer of the Earth's atmosphere that is closest to the ground, contains 99 percent of the water vapor and 75 percent of the atmospheric gases, and is where clouds and weather occur.
Ultraviolet Radiation -
A type of energy that comes to Earth from the Sun, can cause damage to skin and can cause cancer. It is mostly absorbed by the ozone layer.
Vaporization -
Change of matter from a liquid state to a gas.
Water Cycle -
Model describing how water moves from Earth's surface to the atmosphere and back to the surface again through evaporation, condensation and precipitation.
Weather -
State of the atmosphere at a specific time and place, determined by factors including air pressure, amount of moisture in the air, temperature, wind and precipitation.