Science Vocab: How Many of These Basic Words Do You Know?

By: Amanda Monell

What is the study of living organisms called?

In addition to classification of animals and plants, a biologist will also study the evolution of organisms and the interaction of organisms with one another.

What is the green pigment in most plants called?

In addition to providing the green pigment to plants, chlorophyll has a very big responsibility. It helps aid in photosynthesis, the process by which plants get their food from light and convert carbon dioxide to oxygen.

In flowers, what does the stamen do?

The stamen has three basic parts: the anther, which brushes against the pistil to start pollination, pollen sacs that create and hold the pollen, and filaments, the small stalks that help support the stamen.

What type of organism can function without the use of oxygen?

In the world of fitness, there are a few workouts that are considered anaerobic: sprinting, heavy weight training and jumping. All of these exercises have one thing in common: They all have short bursts of energy, making it a high-intensity workout.

What is the center of an atom called?

The center of a nucleus has two types of particles: positively charged particles (protons) and uncharged particles (neutrons). Regardless of the number of neutrons in a cell, the protons will make every nucleus positively charged.

What is a negatively charged particle called?

When an atom has more electrons than protons, it is called a negative ion. Contrary to its name, negative ions are actually good to have around: They absorb free radicals and remove pollution in the air, purifying it.

What is the table that lists all the elements called?

Every element is grouped into a family, where there is one thing that they all have in common. A couple of families listed are the transition metals (which include silver and gold) and the non-metal family (which includes oxygen and carbon).

What is the combination of two different atoms called?

When a compound is written, it usually has a combination of letters and numbers. For example, if you take one hydrogen atom and add two oxygen atoms, you get water. The way it is written is H2O.

What is the process in which a liquid becomes a gas called?

Steam, evaporated water, is used in many different ways. In the world of cosmetology, a facial usually uses steam to help loosen pores, and steaming is also a method of preparing vegetables.

What is the item that a lever rests on that causes it to rise and fall?

When it comes to illustrating how a lever works to children, oftentimes a teeter totter is used with one child sitting on the ground the other in the air.

Which group on the periodic table is also known as the inert gases?

Balloons float because of a noble gas: Helium has the atomic number of two and is the second lowest element on the periodic table. Another element, neon, helps illuminate neon signs.

What is a mixture of metals called?

Alloys are usually made to strengthen the two originating metals as well as protect it from corrosion. Two examples of an alloy are bronze, which is a mixture of copper and tin, and brass, which is a mixture of copper and zinc.

What is a transparent item that is used to separate white light into the shades of the color spectrum?

Ever wonder why you can only see a rainbow during a light rain? That's because light is hitting some of the water droplets, creating a natural prism.

In addition to being a director of the orchestra, this word also means a material that helps transmit energy. What is it?

One of the reasons why wires have a plastic coating on them is to help protect them, the other is to help contain the energy they are transmitting.

Orion's Belt is an example of a grouping of stars. What are we thinking of?

In addition to Orion's Belt, all the signs of the zodiac are in the stars. How do you know what sign you are? If you look to the stars on your birthday, your zodiac's constellation will be visible.

It takes one year for the earth to finish its lap around the sun. What's the path it takes called?

When the Earth rotates around the sun, it is tilted. This tilt is known as an axis.

What's an amphibian?

Some examples of amphibians include frogs, toads and salamanders. During its lifespan, an amphibian will have both gills and nostrils.

What's a mammal?

Even though the dolphin is considered a mammal, an adult is actually hairless. This is because shortly after birth, the dolphin will shed its hair, leaving little pores in the skin where the hair used to be.

What is a reptile?

Unlike chicken eggs, most reptiles lay soft eggs. Their shells are made of keratin. The exception to this rule are some turtle and tortoises.

What is an arachnid?

Some examples of an arachnid are spiders and scorpions. In order to protect its young from the elements and predators, scorpions will carry their babies on their backs.

What's a small rock cavity filled with crystal or other minerals called?

A typical geode starts out with liquid filling and forms a valve. As the liquid evaporates, crystals form.

What's a rock made of a tightly bonded material called?

A good example of a homogeneous rock are lava rocks. Unlike a heterogeneous rock, the bond between the two elements is so tight that it is very difficult to separate.

What's a rock made of a loosely bonded material called?

A good example of a heterogeneous rock is granite. Unlike a homogeneous rock, the bond between the two elements is pretty loose, so it is very easy to separate.

What is the hard upper layer of a turtle's shell called?

Carapaces are usually made of bone or chitin. Other animals that have carapaces include scorpions, spiders, crabs and shrimp.

What piece of lab equipment is used to look at a specimen up close?

One distinct difference between a group of plant cells and a group of animal cells is that plant cells have a tight wall-like structure, where animal cells are loose.

What piece of lab equipment is used to hold a microscopic specimen?

In order to protect the specimen from damage, a small piece of plastic (called a coverslip) is placed on top of it, compressing it, making it easier to view. This method of slide mounting is called wet mounting.

What piece of lab equipment is used to measure liquids?

Depending on the size of a cylinder, you could also use it for creating mixtures. Because the size of the cylinder can vary, the amount of liquid that is measured can be greater from one cylinder to the next.

What piece of lab equipment is used to grow bacteria?

Petri dishes are usually lined with gelatin, which help feed the bacteria, encouraging growth. In order to protect the specimen, each dish comes with a lid.

What kind of organism needs air to live?

With the exception of some single-celled organisms, most of the creatures on our planet need oxygen to function. In the world of fitness, aerobics classes are designed to help strengthen the lungs through vigorous exercise.

What is an organism with a spinal column called?

A majority of the creatures that live on the earth are considered vertebrates. The creatures without spines are usually protected by an exoskeleton.

What is an organism without a spinal column called?

Many of the invertebrates that live on Earth are protected by an exoskeleton. Some examples of invertebrates are starfish, mollusks, arachnids and insects.

What is the outermost layer of the earth called?

Fracking, a drilling method to get oil, causes quite a bit of damage to the Earth's upper crust. When you remove minerals from the Earth without digging, it could cause earthquakes.

What kind of cloud is also known as a thunderhead?

Made of water vapor, a cumulonimbus cloud is an easy way for the atmosphere to transfer water from one part of the planet to another. They occupy low to medium altitudes.

What type of energy is created by a body being in motion?

Did you ever wonder why victims of car accidents are flung forward even though the car has come to a stop? That's because even though the vehicle has come to a stop, the body is still moving at the same speed.

What is the center of the earth called?

Surrounded by liquid, first from the outer core, then from the magma from the mantle, the inner core is actually a solid composed of nickel and iron.

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Image: Getty Images via -VICTOR-

About This Quiz

When it comes to science, there are so many ologies your head could explode.  If there is a subject, there is more than likely a study of it.  For example, theology is the study of religion.  Many people will look to theologians to resolve crises of faith.  There's astrologists, those who claim to either know the future or actually do have psychic gifts.  While many go to these specialists to get spiritual advice, you don't ever want to confuse these folks with astronomers.  An astronomer studies astronomy, not astrology: the study of natural celestial bodies in space.  This confusion is an area of contention, and you don't want to rub the person the wrong way. 

Just like the number of various studies of science, there are just as many pieces of equipment that help aid the scientist to prove whatever theory they're hoping to prove or disprove.  In addition to this, there is personal protective equipment to help keep those experimenting from getting hurt or destroying the lab.

Do you think you have what it takes to remember your science class vocab?  Get ready to make your science teachers proud by sharpening your pencils and taking this quiz!  

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