KS2 Topic Headings
|Topic headings that link you to more detailed notes|
KS2 Science Vocabulary
ABDOMEN The last part of an insect’s body (after the head and the thorax). It is the part that contains the digestive and reproductive organs. In a human it is the soft part under your lungs (where your intestines and are).
ABSORBENT Absorbent means ‘soaks up water’. A towel will be absorbent.
ACID A liquid that tastes sour. Lemon juice and vinegar are both acids. Remember that acids are usually very dangerous and must never be tasted. Acids have a pH number less than 7.
For more detailed information click here
ACID RAIN Rain water which has become acid after dissolving chemicals from the air. Acid rain is a kind of pollution and can harm vegetation and animals that live in water.
ADAPTION In order to help them survive, animals and plants have developed special features to help them fit into their habitat. These special features are called adaptions. Examples: Fish have a streamlined body to help them move through the water, camels have large feet to stop them sinking into the sand, Frogs have webbed feet to help them swim.
AIR Air is the mixture of gases that surround the Earth. Air consists of nitrogen (about 78%), oxygen (about 21%), argon (about 1%) and a variety of other gases (including carbon dioxide, helium and water vapour).
Uses for air: Supports Gliders, planes and parachutes. Needed for things to burn. Kites. Blows sailing boats along.
Air does have weight. There is no air on the Moon
AIR RESISTANCE Air resistance happens when air tries to slow down a moving object (like a parachute or car). Another name for air resistance is drag. It is a kind of friction.
A streamlined object has only a little air resistance.
ALGAE Algae are a single celled plants. Algae normally live in wet places. They have no leaves or roots. Seaweed is an alga. Algae is the plant that makes swimming pools look green.
ALUMINIUM Aluminium is very light metal. It is used to make kitchen foil, saucepans (and sometimes good quality bicycle frames). Aluminium is a good conductor of heat and electricity.
AMMETER * An instrument used for measuring the current in an electric circuit. For more detail click here
AMPHIBIANS An amphibian is one of the vertebrates. It is an animal that can live on land or in water. They lay soft, jelly covered eggs in water and have smooth moist skin. The young live in water. Examples of amphibians are frog, toad and newt.
ANNELIDS A type of animal which is long and thin and has segments eg earthworm or leach.
ANTHER The anther is the top part of a stamen and is where pollen is made in a flower.
APPARATUS Apparatus is anything we pick up to use in an experiment.
Test tube, beaker, bowl, thermometer are all examples of apparatus.
ARACHNIDS Arachnids are animals that have 4 pairs of legs and 2 parts to the body.
Examples of arachnids are spider and scorpion.
ARTERIES Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart.
ATOM * The smallest possible part of every substance. Everything is made of atoms.
Some substances only have one kind of atom and these are called elements.
The smallest atom is a hydrogen atom.
When atoms join together a molecule is formed.
BACKBONE Another name for the spine.
A bone that supports the back and protects the spinal cord.
BACTERIA Bacteria are microscopic organisms that can be found anywhere. Some bacteria are helpful like those found in the soil that make things rot or the bacteria used to turn milk into yogurt. Some are harmful and can make us ill, causing stomach upset or a sore throat. (See micro-organism)
BALANCED DIET Our diet is what we eat. A balanced diet is eating all the nutrients but in the right amounts. This would include lots of fruit and vegetables, pasta and cereals (for vitamins, carbohydrates and fibre). Some fish, meat or cheese (for protein) and only a small amount of fat, salt or sugar.
A balanced diet needs to include carbohydrate (for energy), Protein (for growth), vitamins and minerals (to keep us healthy) along with fibre and water. (see Diet)
BATTERY A battery is what pushes electricity around an electric circuit. A battery often contains several cells. (See Circuit symbols on the last page)
BEAKER A container for holding liquids
BERRY The part of a plant that holds the seeds. It is a female part of a plant.
A berry will often have a bright colour to attract birds to help spread the seeds.
BIRD One of the VERTEBRATES. A warm blooded animal that lays hard-shelled eggs on land. The body of a bird is covered in feathers eg thrush
BIOLOGY The study of living things
BLADDER Organ in a human that stores urine. (Urine is the yellow liquid you get rid of when you go to the toilet) The kidney removes poisonous waste from the blood, changes it into urine and stores it in the bladder.
BLOOD Blood is the red liquid that is pumped around the body by the heart. Blood carries food and oxygen around the body as well as carbon dioxide and other waste.
BLOOD CELL Blood looks red because of the red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body.
Blood also contains white blood cells that try to kill bacteria that may enter your body.
BLOOD VESSEL A tube that carries blood around the body. Large blood vessels are called arteries or veins. Small ones are called capillaries. Arteries carry blood away from the heart and veins carry blood back towards the heart.
BOIL A liquid boils when it gets hot enough so that it evaporates inside (forming bubbles) as well as at the surface.
BOILING POINT The boiling point of a liquid is the temperature at which it starts to boil
The boiling point of water is 100°C
BRAIN Our brain controls and co-ordinates all the organs in the body.
BUNSEN BURNER A piece of apparatus that burns gas and is used to heat things in the laboratory.
It was named after Robert Bunsen and the flame can reach temperatures of 700°C
BURN When something burns it needs oxygen and gives off heat and light.
Burning always forms a new substance. Substances that burn include paper, coal, wood and oil. Something that burns easily can be used as a fuel.
Burning is an example of a permanent change.
CANINE TOOTH Canine teeth are teeth used for tearing or gripping meat. They are often sharp and pointed. A meat eating animal (carnivore) will often have canine teeth.
CAPILLARIES Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that carry blood from an artery to a vein. The capillaries carry food and oxygen to every cell in our body
CARBOHYDRATE Carbohydrates are starch or sugar like sweets, bread, pasta.
Carbohydrates provide us with energy.
CARBON Carbon is one of the chemical elements. All living things contain carbon.
Carbon is black. Coal and charcoal are made mostly of carbon. When you ‘burn’ a piece of toast you are left behind with carbon. Diamond and graphite are both made of pure carbon.
CARBON DIOXIDE Is a colourless gas used by plants during photosynthesis and breathed out by humans as a waste product. It is the gas that forms the bubbles in fizzy drinks and is also sometimes put in fire extinguishers. Carbon dioxide turns lime-water cloudy.
Carbon dioxide is a compound of carbon and oxygen and has the formula CO2
CARNIVORE A carnivore is an animal that eats only meat.
Examples: A thrush, fox and ladybird are carnivorous animals
CELL A cell is another name for a battery. A battery would normally be several cells joined together.
CELL The basic unit of all life. Humans are made of millions of cells. Most cells have a special job to do eg nerve cells (carry messages to and from the brain), red blood cells (carry oxygen) or muscle cells (contract and move bones). The most important part of a cell is the nucleus which contains DNA.
CHANGE STATE: The three states of matter are solid, liquid and gas.
A substance can be made to change state by heating it up or cooling it down
Melt = Changing from a solid to a liquid (by heating it)
Evaporate = Changing from a liquid to a gas or vapour (by heating it)
Condense = Changing from a gas to a liquid (by cooling it down)
Solidify = Changing from a liquid to a solid (by cooling it down)
All examples of changing state are reversible changes.
Sometimes called a permament change
A chemical change happens when a new substance is formed.
Examples of chemical change are:
vinegar baking soda fizzing (to make carbon dioxide)
A chemical reaction takes place whenever a new substance is formed (see Chemical Change)
CHLOROPHYLL Chlorophyll is the substance that makes plants look green.
It is needed for photosynthesis to take place.
CIRCUIT Whenever electricity moves there must be a complete circuit
A circuit diagram shows the components of a circuit using special symbols.
COLD-BLOODED Animals whose body temperature changes with the temperature of the surroundings All animals except for birds and mammals are cold blooded.
Examples: lizards, frogs, snakes and all fish are cold blooded
COMMUNITY A collection of all the animals and plants that live in a particular area.
CONCLUSION The conclusion to an experiment tells us what we have learnt from the results.
A conclusion should always be based on the results of the experiment.
(Do not write down just what you expected to learn)
CONDENSE Condensing is what happens when a gas turns to a liquid due to being cooled down.
For example if steam touches a cold mirror it will condense and turn to drops of water. (See Change of State). Condensing is a reversible change
CONDUCTOR Electrical conductor: A material that electricity flows through easily.
Thermal conductor: A material that heat passes through easily.
All metals (specially copper and aluminium, are good conductors.
A good conductor will be a poor insulator.
A base of saucepan is made of metal because metals are good conductors of heat,
The handle is often made of wood because wood is a poor conductor of heat.
CONSUMER Consumers are the animals in a food chain (Plants are called producers)
Example food chain
| CABBAGE → RABBIT → FOX
The first animal in a food chain is called a primary consumer (in this case, a rabbit)
The second animal is called a secondary consumer (in this case a fox)
COPPER Copper is pink metal. It is a very good conductor of heat and electricity.
It is the metal that wires are made from.
CROWN The part of a tooth which sticks out above the gum is called the crown. The crown is made of enamel (Enamel is the hardest substance in our body)
CRUSTACEANS A group of animals that usually have a hard exoskeleton and about 5 pairs of legs,
Examples of crustaceans: crab, lobster, woodlouse.
CURRENT The speed that electricity moves along a wire (rather like the current in a stream).
Current is measured in amps and can be measured using an instrument called an ammeter.
DAY The time it takes a planet to revolve once on it axis.
One Earth 1 day = 24 hours. The faster a planet spins the shorter it’s day will be.
DECIDUOUS The word deciduous describes a type of tree that does not loose its leaves in winter.
Example The oak tree, chesnut and beech are all deciduous trees.
Trees that are not deciduous are called evergreen. The fir tree is an example of an evergreen tree.
DECOMPOSE Another name for ‘rot’. A dead animal or plant will slowly decompose (rot away) if left in the ground..
It is the bacteria and fungi in the soil that make an animal decompose.
DENTINE Dentine is the soft material found in a tooth just under the hard coating of enamel.
DIAPHRAGM Your diaphragm is a sheet of muscle just below the lungs. It is needed to help you breath. When you breath in you pull your diaphragm down.
DIET The food an animal normally eats or drinks is known as its diet.
A healthy diet needs to provide all the essential nutrients (carbohydrate, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals). Fibre is important in a healthy diet to help digestion.
Water is vital. We should drink about 2l of water a day.
Sometimes humans go on a special diet in order to get well or lose weight. (see Balanced Diet and Nutrient)
DIGESTION Digestion is what happens to your food after you eat it. The food is broken down into simple chemicals that are then absorbed into the body. Digestion takes place mostly in the intestine. (Although digestion actually starts in the mouth)
DIODE An electrical component that only allows a current to flow in one direction. (See LED)
DISEASE A disease is an illness caused by a fungus, bacterium or virus.
Examples : Sore throat or upset tummy are often caused by bacteria.
Flu and measles are caused by a virus.
A lot of plant diseases are caused by fungi.
We can help stop the spread of disease by doing the following…
by washing our hands after going to the toilet or before preparing food.
by storing food at the right temperature (below 5°C) and cooking it properly.
by not sharing cups.
by using a handkerchief (or hand) over your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
DISPERSAL Seed dispersal is the spreading around of seeds so they have room to grow.
Seeds are dispersed by animals, wind or water.
DISSOLVE If a solid disappears when it is added to a liquid we say it has dissolved. The resulting liquid is called a solution.
For example sugar will dissolve in water to form sugar solution.
We can help a solid dissolve quicker three ways:
- by stirring ii. by using warm water iii. by using smaller grains of sugar
See Soluble, Insoluble, Solvent, Solute, Solution
DISTILLATION The name of the process used for obtaining the SOLVENT from a SOLUTION eg obtaining pure water from sea water. How to distil water: boil the water and let the steam hit a cold flask where it will condense. The condensed water is called distilled water.
DNA A chemical found in the cells of every animal or plant. Our DNA decides every bit of information about what we look like (colour of hair, number of fingers etc.).
Each person’s DNA is different as none of us are identical.
EAR Used for HEARING. Sound waves cause the eardrum in the ear to vibrate.
The ear also helps you keep your BALANCE.
EARTH The Earth is the third planet in the solar System. It rotates once every 24 hours (a day) and takes 365 days to orbit the Sun (a year).
ECLIPSE Eclipse of the sun: When the Moon is between the earth and the Sun and blocks out some of the Sun’s light. A shadow falls on the Earth and the Sun cannot be seen.
Eclipse of the moon: when the Earth’s shadow falls onto the moon, so that the moon cannot be seen.
ECOLOGY The study of animals and plants in their natural environment.
ECOSYSTEM All the animals and plants in a particular area along with the place they live in (rocks, soil, weather). An ecosystem my contain several habitats.
ELEMENT The elements are the simplest of all chemicals. They are the building blocks from which every other substance is made. There are just over 100 elements.
Examples of some chemical elements with their symbol:
Metals: Copper Cu, Gold Au, Iron Fe, Aluminium Al, Zinc Zn
Non-metals: Oxygen O, Nitrogen N, Carbon C, Helium He, Hydrogen H
EMBRYO The young, unborn child inside its mother is known as an embryo.
ENAMEL Enamel is the hard, white coating over our teeth. Enamel is the hardest substance in our body
ENVIRONMENT The conditions around you are known as your environment.
Factors that can affect the environment include air temperature, type of soil, amount of water and amount of light.
EQUILIBRIUM When two forces on an object are balanced (equal) we say they are in equilibrium.
EVAPORATE When a liquid disappears into the air and forms a gas or vapour.
The water in a puddle will slowly evaporate.
Water will evaporate quicker when the air is warm or windy. (see Changing State).
EVAPORATION A process for obtaining a solid that has been dissolved by letting the liquid evaporate. (See Water Cycle)
example: if we wanted the salt from salty water we would evaporate the water.
EVERGREEN An evergreen tree is a type of tree that keeps its leaves all the year round.
Examples of evergreen trees are the fir tree or spruce.
Trees that loose their leaves in winter (like the oak tree) are called deciduous.
EXERCISE Exercise is very important to help keep you healthy:
It strengthens muscles, helps keeps your heart healthy, improves your stamina and makes you feel better.
Your heart beats faster when you exercise to get more food and oxygen to the muscles.
EXOSKELETON An exoskeleton is the hard outside skin found on some animals.
Animals that have an exoskeleton include crab, lobster, and all insects.
EYE An eye is an organ used for seeing.
The eye contains special cells that are sensitive to light.
FEMUR Part of the human skeleton. Another name for the thigh-bone.
The femur is the top bone in the eg that helps support the body
FERMENTATION Fermentation is a process where yeast changes sugar into alcohol
FERTILIZATION After pollen reaches a plant the pollen has to join up with (or fertilize) the seed before the seed can grow in to a new plant. The joining of the pollen and seed is known as fertilization.
FILAMENT The filament is part of a flower.
The stamen (or male part) of a flower is made up of the filament and the anther.
FILAMENT The part of a light bulb that gets hot when electricity flows through it is called the filament.
FILTER When you filter a liquid you remove anything that is solid or cannot dissolve.
(example: you would filter water to remove any mud)
FILTER FUNNEL A piece of apparatus used to hold the filter paper when something is filtered.
se The clear liquid that drips through the filter paper when filtering is called a filtrate
Example. If you filter muddy water the clear liquid you collect is called the filtrate.
FILTRATION Filtration is the process used for separating a SOLID from a LIQUID
eg obtaining SAND from SALTY WATER or FLOUR from WATER
FISH One of the VERTEBRATES that live in water. A fish has gills and a scaly skin.
Examples of fish are cod, minnow and shark.
FLEXIBLE Flexible means bendy, like a thin plastic ruler. Eg leather is flexible
FLOWER The part of a plant where seeds are made.
Flowers that are insect pollinated (eg rose) have colourful or scented petals to attract insects.
Wind pollinated plants (eg grass) do not have petals and make lots of pollen.
| Male parts
Anther + filament = stamen
Pollen is made on the antherFemale partsStigma + style + ovary = carpelOvules (eggs) are made in the ovarySepals protect the bud
FLOWERING PLANTS Plants that produce SEEDS. Eg grass, apple, oak, rose.
Non-flowering plants like ferns or moss make spores instead of seeds
FOOD CHAIN A list of organisms that show what is eating what within a habitat
|CABBAGE → SLUG → THRUSH → CAT|
The arrow means ‘is eaten by’
This means that the cabbage is eaten by the slug ….
which is eaten by the thrush.
.. which is eaten by the cat
A food chain always starts with a plant (known as the producer)
The plant is eaten by a herbivore (the primary consumer)
The herbivore is eaten by a carnivore (the secondary consumer)
|Plant → Herbivore → Carnivore|
The animal at the top of the food chain is often a PREDATOR (an animal hat eats other animals)
FOOD WEB A food web shows how all the animals and plants in a habitat depend on each other for food.
A food web contains several food chains all linked together.
FORCE A force is a push or pull. Force is measured in Newtons (N).
(the unit of force is the Newton)
Forces are measured using a force-meter (sometimes called a Newton meter or spring balance)
A force can cause an object to speed up, slow down or change shape
|Four forces on an aeroplane.|
Examples of forces:
Friction (a force caused by things rubbing together. Friction makes things slow down)
Air resistance (when something moves through the air, air resistance slows it down. A streamlined shape would reduce the air resistance so would go faster)
Gravity (pulls objects down towards the centre of the Earth. Gravity causes things to have weight)
Magnetism (A magnet can attract iron or another magnet. Two similar poles will repel)
Upthrust (Upthrust is the force that makes things float or feel lighter in water)
An object will speed up or slow down if the forces on it are not balanced.
If the forces on an object are the same it will not move (or stay moving at a steady speed)
FORCE METER Forces are measured using a force-meter (sometimes called a Newton meter or spring balance) (see force)
FOSSIL FUEL Fossil fuels are fuels made from the remains of dead animals or plants
The main fossil fuels are coal, oil and natural gas. Fossil fuels are fairly cheap and easy to obtain but they are slowly running out (and cannot be replaced). They also cause lots of pollution.
FREQUENCY The frequency of a musical note means the number of sound vibrations that happen every second.
A higher frequency means a higher pitch
Some animals like dogs can hear a higher frequency than humans.
FRICTION Friction happens when two surfaces rub together
Rough surfaces have a lot of friction. Smooth surfaces have only a little friction.
Friction is a force which tries to slow things down. Friction causes heat.
Without friction our shoes would have no grip on the floor and cars would not be able to slow down or turn corners. (see Force)
Air resistance (or drag) is a kind of friction caused by air slowing down moving objects (like a parachute or a car)
Friction can be reduced by using rollers or a lubricant like oil between the surfaces that touch. (See Air Resistance)
FRUIT A fruit is the ovary of a plant and is where the seeds are formed.
It is a female part of the plant.
Examples of fruit: banana, apple, orange, tomato, cucumber.
FUEL A fuel is something we can burn to obtain heat energy (like coal, oil or wood)
FUNGI Fungi are a kind of living organism that can’t make their own food like plants.
Examples of different fungi: mushroom, yeast, mould.
Fungi are important because they help dead things rot in the soil
Some fungi are useful like yeast which is used to make bread and alcoholic drinks
FUSE A piece of thin wire that melts when too much electricity flows through it. It is a safety device used to help stop wires overheating.
GALAXY A large number of stars grouped together. Our sun is in a galaxy called the Milky Way. The universe contains many galaxies.
GAS One of the three states of matter. (the other two are solids and liquids).
A gas always completely fills its container and has no fixed shape
A gas can be compressed (squashed into a smaller space).
If a gas is cooled down it will condense and form a liquid.
The particles in a gas are far apart and move rapidly in all directions
GERMINATION Germination is when seeds start to grow.
Seeds need three conditions (things) to germinate:
1. Warmth, 2. Air (Oxygen) and 3. Water
GERMINATION PERIOD The time between planting a seed and the first growth of the new plant
GESTATION PERIOD The time taken for a baby to grow inside its mother.
The gestation period for a human is 9 months (about 38 weeks)
GILLS Gills are used by a fish to take oxygen from the water.
GOLD Gold is a yellow metal. Gold is a very good conductor of electricity.
Gold has the symbol Au
GRAPHITE A form of carbon. Graphite is the black substance inside pencils (the pencil lead).
Lead used to be used in pencils but is not used any more due to it being poisonous.
GREENHOUSE EFFECT Certain gases in the air like carbon dioxide and methane trap heat from the sun and cause the air to heat up (in the same way as the inside of a car or greenhouse heat up on a sunny day). The greenhouse effect is responsible for global warming.
GRAVITY Gravity is the force that pulls all objects down towards the centre of the Earth.
Gravity causes objects to have weight.
All the objects in the solar system have gravity. The bigger the planet, the more gravity it has and so the more things will weigh.
GUT The tube in our body that food travels along. It starts with the mouth and ends with the anus.
HABITAT The place where an animal or plant makes its home
eg woodland, fresh-water stream, puddle.
A habitat has to be able to provide food, shelter and protection from weather and from predators.
HEART The heart is an organ to pump blood to and from the lungs and around the body. The heart is made mostly of muscle and contains valves to control the direction of blood flow.
To keep the heart healthy we should eat a diet low in fat and salt, eat lots of fruit and vegetables and take regular exercise. Smoking and drinking alcohol can also damage the heart. (See Keeping Healthy)
hear The speed at which our heart pumps. The normal heart rate of a child is 80 b.p.m (beats per minute) and an adults average heart rate is 72 b.p.m..
Our heart rate will go up when we take exercise because our muscles need more food and oxygen so the heart has to pump faster. (see Pulse)
HELIUM It is one of the gases in air. It is a very light gas and is used in helium balloons.
HERBIVORE A herbivore is an animal that eats only plants (leaves, seeds, berries, bark etc).
Examples: snail, mouse, cow
HOST The organism on which a parasite is living
eg if a flea lives on a fox then the fox is the host and the flea the parasite.
HUMUS Humus is a name given to rotting leaves in the soil. Humus helps hold water in the soil and also provides food for plants. (Makes the soil ‘rich’). See LOAM.
IMPERMEABLE Impermeable means waterproof. An impermeable rock (like granite) will not let water seep through it. (The opposite of impermeable is permeable)
INCISOR TOOTH Incisor teeth are used for snipping or cutting food. They have a flat edge. A plant eating animal (herbivore) will usually have incisor teeth.
INSECTS An insect is an animal that has 3 pairs of legs and three parts to its body (head, thorax and abdomen). Examples: Ant, bee, butterfly
INSOLUBLE Something is insoluble if it does not dissolve.
eg flour is insoluble in water. An insoluble substance can be separated from water by FILTRATION.
INSULATOR Electrical insulator: A material that does not allow electricity to flow through it (like plastic or glass).
Thermal insulator: A material does not allow heat to pass through it easily (like wool or plastic)
A good insulator will be a poor conductor
A base of saucepan is made of metal because metals are good conductors of heat,
The handle is often made of wood because wood is a good insulator
INTESTINE Our intestines are part of our gut and are where food is digested.
INVERTEBRATE An invertebrate is an animal with no bones
All animals except for mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are invertebrates. Examples fly, worm, slug, octopus
A change in a substance that is permanent.
Examples of irreversible changes are BURNING toast, COOKING a cake or an egg, RUSTING. (See Chemical Change)
1. Take regular exercise. This improves stamina and keeps the heart healthy
2.Eat a diet low in fat and salt (fat can damage the heart). (see Balanced Diet)
3. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables (which contain important vitamins and minerals)
4. Avoid a lot of alcohol (alcohol can damage the heart and liver
5. Do not smoke (smoking can damage the lungs)
6. Do not take drugs (drugs can damage the liver
o An organ in our body that cleans blood
LARYNX Another name for the voice box
LDR Light Dependant Resistor. This is a resistor which has a high resistance in the dark and a low resistance in the light.
LEAD Lead is a soft grey metal. Sheets of lead are often used to help make roofs keep out water. It used to be used in pencil ‘leads’ but because lead is poisonous we now use another soft substance called graphite.
LEAVES The part of a plant that makes food.
The leaves have a large surface area to absorb as much sunlight as possible.
L.E.D Light Emitting Diode. A small device that gives out light when connected to a battery but only uses a tiny current. It must be connected the right way around or it will not work.
It must have a resistor connected in series with it.
LIFE CYCLE The main stages in the life of an animal or plant.
The human life cycle is:
unborn baby à Baby à Child à (Puberty) Adolescence à Adult à Old age
The life cycle of a flowering plant is:
Pollination à Fertilization à Seed dispersal à Germination à Growth of plant
The life cycle of a frog is:
Egg à Frog spawn à Tadpole à Adult frog
LIFE PROCESSES There are seven processes that are carried out by all living organisms
Movement, Growth, Reproduction, Nutrition (feeding), Respiration, Excretion (getting rid of waste) and Respond to a stimulus (see Living Things)
LIGAMENT Ligaments hold the bones together at each joint in your body.
LIGHT RAY A light ray is shows the path of light in a diagram. A light ray should be drawn as a single straight line with one arrow on it.
LIQUID One the three states of matter (the other two being solid and gas). Liquids take the shape of their container but their volume does not change.
Liquids can flow and always have a level surface.
If you cool a liquid down it will solidify and form a solid
If you warm a liquid up it will evaporate and form a gas
The particles in a liquid are close together but not fixed to each other.
LIVER One of the organs in our body. The liver does many things, one of which is to remove poisons from the blood.
LIVING THINGS If something is alive it must be able to do several things (these are called the Life Processes). These include the following:
All living things can MOVE (movement), they can GROW (growth), they can REPRODUCE (have babies or reproduction) and they must be able to FEED (nutrition).
LOAM Loam is a type of soil. It contains sand (which helps it drain), clay (which binds it together and humus (which helps hold water and also provides food for plants).
LUMINOUS A luminous object is one that gives out light eg the sun, the stars, a light bulb or candle.
(Remember, the Moon is NOT luminous and gives out no light of its own. We see the Moon due to light from the Sun being reflected from the Moon back to the Earth)
LUNGS Our lungs are the organs which put oxygen into the blood.
They also remove carbon dioxide from the blood.
When we breathe we move air in an out of the lungs
MALLEABLE Malleable means can be hammered into thin sheets. Most metals like gold, copper or lead are malleable.
MAMMALS The mammals are animals which give birth to live young and feed their young milk. The body of a mammal is usually covered in hair or fur.
ma A magnet is a material that produces a magnetic force.
All magnets have two poles..
The pole is the part of a magnet where the magnetism is strongest.
The only common material that magnets attract (stick to) is iron.
All magnets have two poles (North seeking pole and South seeking pole)
Similar (like) poles repel (push apart) and different (unlike) poles attract each other. Magnets are used to make electric motors and also to separate iron from other materials.
MENISCUS The top surface of a liquid in a container sometimes forms a small curve where the liquid meets the edge of the container. This curve is called a meniscus.
METAL A metal is something that has the following properties: strong, shiny, can be hammered into thin sheets. Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity..
Examples of metals: Copper, aluminium, iron, gold and lead.
MICRO-ORGANISMS A micro-organism is a living thing that is so small you need a microscope to see it. Micro-organisms are either fungi, bacteria or viruses .
Helpful micro-organisms: yeast is a fungus that is used for making bread or beer
Bacteria that live in the soil are helpful as they cause things to rot and provide food for plants
Bacteria are also used to term milk into yogurt or cheese.
Bacteria, viruses and fungi can all cause disease
Bacteria can cause a tummy upset or sore throat, viruses cause flu or measles
Bacteria can also cause food poisoning. (See Disease)
MINERAL A type of food needed to keep us healthy
Examples: calcium, found in milk and cheese, is needed for strong bones
Iron, found in green vegetables, is needed for healthy blood.
MINERAL A naturally occurring substance from the ground, like oil, salt or sulphur
MIXTURE When two (or more) substances are in the same container then you have a mixture
Examples of mixtures: AIR, SEA WATER, INK.
TEETH Molar teeth are for crushing or gripping food. They are at the back of the mouth and have a hard rounded surface.
MOLECULE The particle formed when two or more atoms join together.
example: the smallest part of water is a single water molecule H2O
(two hydrogen atoms joined to one oxygen atom)
MOLLUSCS Animals that have muscular foot and soft body eg slug, snail, oyster.
MOON The Moon is a natural satellite of the Earth. (A satellite is an object that revolves around a planet). The Moon orbits the Earth once every 28 days. The moon does not give out light of its own. We see the moon due to light from the Sun being reflected back to the Earth. (See Phases of the Moon)
MOSS A small non-flowering plant. It has no proper roots and reproduces by making spores. Mosses live in damp, shady places.
MUSCLE Muscles hold the bones in place and help us move. Muscles usually work in pairs.
When one muscle contracts (or gets shorter and pulls) the other muscle relaxes.
NECTARY Part of a flower that contains a sweet liquid called nectar
A flower makes nectar as a reward for insects and so helps with pollination.
NERVE Something our body uses to send messages to and from the brain.
Nerves allow us to feel pain and also allow our brain to control the muscles.
NEWTON A Newton (N) is a unit of force. On Earth a mass of 100g weighs about 1 Newton.
NEUTRAL A liquid that is not an acid and is not an alkali. Example: water, alcohol
NITROGEN The most common gas in the air. Nitrogen makes up about 4/5 of the air. Nitrogen is one of the substances in soil needed by plants.
NON-FLOWERING PLANTS Plants that do NOT produce seeds. Eg algae, moss and ferns.
NON-METAL Something that is not a metal. Examples: Wood, plastic, glass
NUCLEUS The nucleus is the most important part of all living cells and contains the genetic material
NUTRIENT A substance found in food that is needed to help us grow and stay healthy.
Types of nutrient:
Carbohydrates (starch and sugar, found in bread, pasta and sweets) give us energy
Proteins (found in meat, fish and cheese) are needed for growth and repair of cells.
Vitamins and minerals (found in fresh fruit and vegetables) keep us healthy.
(See Balanced Diet)
OMNIVORE An omnivore is an animal that eats plants and meat.
eg rat, human
OPAQUE A material is opaque if it does not allow light to pass through it.
Brick and wood are opaque. (see Transparent and Translucent).
Opaque objects form the best shadow by blocking light.
ORE A mineral from the ground from which a metal can be obtained.
eg iron can be obtained from iron ore.
ORGAN An organ is a part of our body with a particular job to do. Examples:
Heart: pumps blood Lungs: add oxygen to the blood and removes carbon dioxide
Ears: hearing and balance Brain: Co-ordinates and controls our body
Skin: keeps out germs Kidney: removes poisonous waste from the blood
Eyes: Seeing Stomach and Intestine: digests food
OVARY The part of a flower where the seeds are formed. Contains the OVULES. After fertilization the ovary will often form a FRUIT.
OVULES Part of a flower that will turn into a seed after it has been fertilized.
OXYGEN One of the gases in the air. Oxygen makes up about 1/5 of air
Oxygen is needed for fires to burn and to keep us alive.
This picture shows a circuit diagram of two bulbs joined in parallel with a cell.
This would be the usual way to join several components to one batteryNormal house lights are wired in parallel.(See Series Circuit)
PARASITE An animal or plant that lives on (or inside) the body of another animal or plant (called its host. Example: A flea on a dog is a parasite (the dog is the host)
PERMANENT CHANGE A permanent change is one where a new chemical is made. It is not reversible. Example of permanent change are burning, rusting and cooking.
(see Chemical Change).
The opposite of a permanent change is a temporary change (like melting, dissolving or evaporation.
PERMEABLE A rock that allows water to soak into it is called permeable. Chalk and limestone are permeable rocks. A permeable rock is porous (full of tiny holes).
The opposite of permeable is impermeable. Granite is an impermeable rock.
PETALS Part of a flower which surround and protect the reproductive organs. The petals have a bright colour and are often scented in order to attract insects. This is to help POLLINATION take place.
pH NUMBER All liquids have a pH number which shows how acid they are.
Acids have a pH number less than pH7. Alkalis are more than pH 7. A neutral liquid (like water) is always equal to pH 7
PHASES OF THE MOON The moon appears to be a different shape each night due to the direction the Sun’s light is coming from. The Sun always lights half the moon but we are not always looking straight at the lit face.
Full moon: This is we are looking towards the lit face and we see the whole moon lit up
1st quarter and last quarter: This is when the Sun’s light is coming from the side and we see only half the moon lit up.
New moon: We cannot see the Moon at all because the Sun’s light is coming from behind the moon and we are looking towards the dark side.
Photosynthesis is a process that a plant uses to make food from carbon dioxide (from the air) and water (from the soil). Photosynthesis takes place mostly in the leaves of a plant and uses energy from the sun. Oxygen is released back into the atmosphere. Photosynthesis is very important as it provides all animals with the food and oxygen they need to keep alive.
PHYSICAL CHANGE A physical change (or temporary change) is one where no new chemical is formed. Examples of temporary change are
Melting: Changing from a solid to a liquid (needs to be warmed)
Evaporating: Changing from a liquid to a gas or vapour(needs to be warmed)
Condensing: Changing from a gas or vapour into a liquid(needs to be cooled)
Solidifying: Changing from a liquid to a solid(needs to be cooled)
(See Reversible Change)
PITCH How high or low a sound is. Faster vibrations make a higher pitch.
The pitch of a guitar string (or drum skin) can be increased (made higher) by:
- i) making it shorter ii) Making it tighter iii) making it thinner
PLACENTA An organ in a mother’s body that provides the unborn baby with food and oxygen.
PLANET A planet is a large object which revolves around the Sun. It is held in orbit by the pull of the sun’s gravity.
There are 8 planets in orbit around the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.
PLANT A flowering plant has four main parts:
- Leaves (where feeding takes place): (Nutrition)
- Stem (to transport food and water around the plant
- Roots (to support the plant)
- Flower (where seeds are made) (Reproduction)
POLES The poles are the part of a magnet where the magnetism is strongest.
There are always two poles on a magnet and they are normally at each end.
The poles are called the North seeking pole (N) and South seeking pole (S).
Imagine two bar magnets being brought towards each other:
If the poles are the same they will repel (push apart).
If the poles are different they will attract (pull together).
POLLEN The tiny grains found on the anther (top part of the stamen) of a plant.
Pollen is carried from one plant to another by insects or by the wind in order to fertilize the seeds. (see pollination)
POLLINATION Pollination is what happens when pollen reaches the stigma of a plant. A plant needs to be pollinated before its seeds can grow. Pollen is usually carried from one plant by another by insects but can also be carried by the wind (eg as in grass).
POLLUTION Anything in the air or soil that harms the environment. Examples are litter, poisons from car exhausts or cigarette smoke, chemicals from factories or methane from storing waste.
POOTER Used in ecology to collect small invertebrate. It consists of a small glass bottle containing two tubes. You suck on one tube and the animal gates drawn down the other into the bottle.
POPULATION A group of animals or plants of the same species living in a particular area.
PREDATOR An animal that hunts for food. eg hawk, pike.
The food it hunts for is known as its prey. (See Prey)
PREDICTION What we think the answer to an experiment might be (before we actually do the experiment)
PREMOLAR Pre-molar teeth are located just in front of the molars. They are slightly smaller than the molars but have roughly the same job, ie grinding or crushing. The first pre-molars appear at about 9 years old. (see Teeth)
PREY An animal that is eaten by another animal is known as its prey.
Look at the following food chain: Lettuce à Slug àThrush à Fox
The slug is the prey of the thrush.
The thrush is a predator (of the slug) and the prey of the fox.
The fox is the predator of the thrush
PRIMARY CONSUMER The first animal in a food chain (see Consumer)
PRODUCER A producer is the first organism in a food chain and is always a green plant. Producers are eaten by consumers (which are always animals)
PROTEIN Proteins are an important part of our diet as they are needed for normal growth.
Foods rich in protein include meat, fish cheese and milk.
PUBERTY The time in a child’s life when his/her sex organs start to develop. Puberty normally happens when a boy is between 11 years old and 14 years old and slightly earlier in girls.
PULSE The pulse is how we can measure our heart rate. Each pulse is one beat of the heart. At certain points in our body we can feel the increase in blood pressure every time our heart beats.
We can normally feel the pulse at our wrist and at the side of the neck.
The normal pulse for a child is 80 beats per minute. Our pulse will increase when we take exercise (See Heart Rate).
PURE A pure substance cannot be separated into any other materials as there is only one substance present.
QUADRAT A square frame of wood used to estimate the number of animals or plants when studying ecology.
REACTION A chemical reaction takes place whenever a new substance is formed.
(See Chemical change)
REFLECTION When light bounces off a surface and changes direction. We see the Moon due to light from the sun being reflected from the Moon back to our eyes. If light hits a mirror it is reflected away at the same angle that the light ray hit the mirror.
(Angle of incidence = angle of reflection)
REFRACTION The bending a light ray as the light travels from air into water or glass
refraction is why a swimming pool will look shallower than I really is.
REPEL Repel means ‘push way’. See MAGNETS
REPTILES An animal that lays soft shelled eggs on land. One of the vertebrates. The body is covered in hard scales. eg snake, lizard, crocodile
RESIDUE The solid remaining in the filter paper after filtering
(or any other small amounts of solid left after an experiment).
RESISTANCE Anything that slows down an electric current must have resistance.
Two bulbs joined end to end have more resistance than a single bulb which is why they are dimmer.
RESISTOR An electrical component that reduces the amount of current flowing.
RESPIRATION A process by which all living organisms release energy from sugar.
Respiration uses up oxygen and is the reason we breathe out carbon dioxide
REVERSIBLE CHANGE A change that is not permanent.
examples of reversible change include melting, condensing, freezing, evaporation and dissolving. (see Change of State).
The opposite of a reversible change is a permanent change (like burning, rusting or cooking)
RIBS Ribs are part of the human skeleton. They are bones that protect the heart and lungs.
ROCK SALT Rock salt is how salt can be dug out of the ground. It is a mixture of salt and dirt.
The dirt can be removed from the salt by dissolving the salt in water and then filtering the mixture. To get the salt back you would need to evaporate the water from the clear salty water.
ROOT The root is the part of a plant that absorbs water and dissolved food from the ground. It supports the plant and stops it blowing away or falling over.
SATELLITE An object that revolves around a planet. eg the moon is a natural satellite of the Earth. There are also many artificial satellites around the Earth that are used to take weather pictures or operate mobile phones.
SATURATED SOLUTION A solution that cannot dissolve any more solid unless it is warmed up.
SEED A is a fertilized ovule. When a seed is planted it will grow into a new plant.
SEPALS Part of a flower. Sepals are small green leaves that protect the bud.
(see flowering plant)
An insoluble solid (like chalk) can be separated from water by filtering.
Something dissolved in water (like salt) can be separated from water by evaporating away the water.
Rice could be separated from flour by using a sieve (or any large grains from smaller grains).
Iron can be separated from other materials by using a magnet
SERIES CIRCUIT When bulbs are joined end to end in an electrical circuit. Two bulbs joined in series will be dimmer than one bulb.
This picture shows a circuit diagram of two bulbs joined in series with a cell and a switch.
SCAVENGER An animal that lives from the remains of other animals. eg shrimp or vulture.
SHADOW A shadow is formed when light is blocked by an opaque object.
Shadows help prove that light travels in straight lines.
If the light moves nearer towards the object the shadow will get bigger
SHORT CIRCUIT When a piece of wire allows electricity to take a ‘short cut’. A short circuit of a battery (when a wire connects the + to the – ) can be very dangerous. The wire may get hot and the battery and will always run don very quickly.
SKELETON A skeleton is made of bones. It is there to protect and support organs in the body. Muscles and tendons are attached to the bones to hold the skeleton in shape.
Ligaments hold one bone to another at the joints
SKIN Protects the body from germs and stops it drying out. The skin is the largest organ in our body.
SOLAR SYSTEM A group of objects in space which include the Sun and all the objects which revolve around it.
SOLID In a solid the particles are held rigidly together by STRONG electrical forces and can only just vibrate. A solid has a fixed volume and fixed shape.
If a solid is heated it may melt and turn into a liquid.
SOLUBLE Soluble means ‘able to dissolve’. For example sugar is soluble in water. This means sugar can dissolve in water.
SOLUTE The SOLID that has been dissolved to make a solution. eg When salt is dissolved in water then the salt is the solute.
The solute is separated from a solution by EVAPORATION.
SOLUTION The liquid obtained by dissolving something in water
For example if we dissolve sugar in water we would make sugar solution.
The solid we are dissolving is called the SOLUTE. The water is called a SOLVENT
SOLUTE + SOLVENT = SOLUTION
eg SUGAR + WATER = SUGAR SOLUTION
SOLVENT The LIQUID used to make a solution.
eg When salt is dissolved in water then the water is the solvent.
SOUND To produce a sound something must be vibrating.
We hear the sound when vibrations in the air reach our ears.
Sound travels quicker in solids and liquids than it does in air.
Sound cannot travel through a vacuum.
The pitch of a sound is how high or low it is. (See Pitch)
The volume of a sound is how loud it is. (See Volume)
What vibrates in a musical instrument?
Drum: Drum skin Guitar: String Organ: Air Clarinet: Reed Voice: vocal cords
SPINE Another name for the backbone.
A bone that supports the back and protects the spinal cord.
SPINAL CORD The Spinal Cord is a nerve that runs through the backbone.
STAMEN The male part of a flower. Where the pollen is made. The stamen is made up from a FILAMENT and ANTHER.
STAR A large ball of hot gas that gives out a huge amount of heat and light.
Our Sun is a typical star.
STATES OF MATTER The three states of matter are SOLID, LIQUID and GAS.
(See Physical Change and Solid, Liquid or Gas)
STEM The stem is part of a plant and holds apart the leaves and flowers.
It contains tiny tubes that carry food and water around the plant. (See Plant)
STIGMA Part of a flower where pollen lands during pollination.
STOMACH Part of the alimentary canal where food is held before it is passed into the small intestine. Some digestion takes place in the stomach.
STYLE The part of a FLOWER that connects the stigma to the ovary. (See Flower)
SWITCHES A switch is used to start or stop electricity flowing in a circuit.
When a switch is OPEN the electricity cannot flow (a bulb would be OFF)
When the switch is CLOSED the electricity can flow (and a bulb would be ON)
Different kinds of switch: Push switch, rocker switch, micro switch and reed switch.
SYNTHETIC Synthetic means ‘man-made’. A synthetic substance is not natural. Examples of synthetic (man-made) materials are plastic, brick and glass
TEETH Animals have teeth to help them eat or grip food. Humans have two sets of teeth during their lifetime. MILK teeth till about 5 years old (about 20 teeth). These are replaced by the PERMANENT teeth (about 32 teeth)
We have three sorts of teeth:
Incisors: These are flat teeth at the front of the mouth. Incisors are used to cut of snip food
Canine: These are sharp, pointed teeth used for tearing or gripping meat.
Molars: These are strong, rounded teeth at the back of the mouth. They are used for gripping or crushing food.
You should look after your teeth 3 ways: brushing them twice a day, visiting the dentist every 6 months and avoiding sugary food and fizzy drinks.
TEMPORARY CHANGE A change that is not permanent like evaporation, melting, solidifying, condensation or dissolving.
Examples or temporary changes: Ice melting, water evaporating from a puddle, steam condensing on a cold surface and dissolving salt in water.
(See Changing State and Physical Change)
TEMPERATURE A measure of how hot or cold something is.
Temperature is normally measured using a thermometer in degrees Celcius (°C)
Some useful temperatures to know:
Boiling point of water = 100°C
Melting point of water = 0°C (This is the temperature of melting ice)
Human body temperature = 37°C
TENDON A tendon joins a muscle to the bone. Tendons are very strong. A well-known tendon is the Achilles tendon which connects the heel to the calf muscles on your leg.
THORAX The part of an animal between the head and the abdomen. In a human the thorax contains the heart and lungs. In an insect the thorax is where the wings and legs are attached.
TIN Tin is a silvery white metal. It is used to line ‘tin’ cans to stop them going rusty. Tin is also mixed with copper to make the alloy brass. ‘Tin foil’ found in kitchens used to be made out of tin but is now made out of aluminium.
TOOTH A tooth has two main parts: The crown and root. The crown is the part of the tooth above the gum. The surface of the crown is made of enamel (enamel is very hard, the hardest substance in the body). Below the enamel is a softer material called dentine.
The root is the part you cannot see below the gum. Inside the root is a nerve (which is what gives you tooth-ache) and some little blood vessels. (See TEETH)
TRACHEA Another name for the windpipe
THERMOMETER An instrument used to measure temperature. It is usually marked in degrees Celcius
TOP CARNIVORE The carnivore at the end of a food chain. eg fox, pike.
TRANSLUCENT Something is translucent if some light can pass through it but no detail can be seen (like a sheet of paper). A translucent object will still make a shadow because it blocks some of the light.
TRANSPARENT Something is transparent if light can shine through it (like a sheet of glass)
A transparent object will usually not form a shadow.
TRANSPIRATION Transpiration is the name of what is happening when a plant loses water. Water enters the plant through the roots, travels up the stem and leaves the plant through its leaves
UNIVERSE The name given to the collection of everything that exists in space.
UNIT A unit tells us how something was measured (like centimetres or inches)
The unit of force is the Newton
The unit of distance is the metre
VARIABLE A variable is something that can be measured in an experiment
For example when sliding a toy car down a slope the variables might be the height of the slope, the weight of the car and the length of the slope, and the distance the car moves after we let it go.
Example 2: When growing a seed the variables might be the temperature of the soil, the amount of water we put in the soil, the amount of light and the height of the seed
In a fair test only one variable should be changed and the other variables kept the same. There will be one variable that we measure or observe.
VEINS Blood vessels that carry blood towards the heart.
VERTEBRATES Animals with an internal hard skeleton.
The vertebrates include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
VIRUS A virus is a tiny micro-organism that lives inside the cell of another animal or plant. A lot of viruses can cause diseases like flu or measles
VITAMIN vitamins are substances in food that we need a small amount of to keep us in good health. Examples:
Vitamin C is found in lemons and oranges and green vegetables.
Lack of vitamin can cause unhealthy gums and an illness called scurvy
VOLUME How loud or soft a sound is. Bigger vibrations make a louder sound
You can increase the volume of a drum by hitting it harder
or a guitar by plucking it harder
VOLUME The amount of space something takes up. The volume of water is often measured using a measuring cylinder.
Water boils at 100°C (called its boiling point)
Water freezes at 0°C (called its melting point)
Water is the most common liquid on Earth.
Water is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen and has the formula H2O
WARM-BLOODED Animals whose body temperature is constant are called warm-blooded.
Human: body temperature = 37oC.
The only warm-blooded animals are birds and mammals.
Most animals are cold blooded. The body of a cold blooded animals will be nearly the same as the surrounding air temperature.
Heat from the Sun (1) causes water in the sea to evaporate and form water vapour (2). As the water vapour rises it cools down and condenses to forms clouds (3). Wind blows the clouds over land where the water falls as rain (4). The rainwater collects into rivers (5) and flows back to the sea to be reheated by the Sun and the cycle starts again.
Note: Evaporation = Liquid to gas Condensation = gas to liquid
WEIGHT The weight of an object is caused by the pull of gravity on it. Weight is measured in newtons. Our weight on the Moon would be less than on the Earth because the Moon’s gravity is less. Weight is measured in Newtons
YEAR The time it takes a planet to complete one full orbit around the sun.
On Earth one year = 365 ¼ days.
YEAST A type of fungus used in baking to make bread rise and in brewing to make beer.
The yeast turns the sugar into alcohol and bubbles of carbon dioxide gas.