8.L.5 Cellular Energy

  1. ATP: Adenosine triphosphate; a compound that releases energy during the process of cellular respiration
  2. Basal Metabolic Rate: the rate at which the body uses energy while at rest to keep vital functions going, such as breathing and keeping warm
  3. Calories: a unit used in measuring the amount of energy food provides when eaten and digested:
  4. Carbohydrate: a nutrient that provides energy, typically made of sugars or starches
  5. Cellular respiration: The chemical process that generates most of the energy in the cell, supplying molecules needed to make the metabolic reactions
  6. Circulatory System: the body system that circulates blood through the body, consisting of the heart, blood vessels, and blood
  7. Digestive System: a group of organs working together to convert food into energy and basic nutrients to feed the entire body
  8. Food pyramid: a nutritional diagram in the shape of a pyramid
  9. Glucose: a simple carbohydrate (sugar) that is an important energy source in living organisms and is a component of many carbohydrates
  10. Lipids (fat): The body uses fat as a fuel source, and fat is the major storage form of energy in the body.
  11. Metabolism: the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life
  12. Minerals: a solid inorganic substance of natural occurrence
  13. Photosynthesis: the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water
  14. Protein: a nutrient that is especially for the growth and repair of body tissue; building blocks


Populations and Ecosystems 8.L.3   

  1. Abiotic Factor – A non-living feature of an ecosystem (rock, water, sun, etc.)
  2. Biodiversity – the variety of life in the world or in a particular ecosystem or habitat
  3. Biotic Factor – A living feature of an ecosystem (plants, animals, leaves, etc.)
  4. Carbon Cycle – the transfer of carbon through naturally occurring processes between organisms and the environment
  5. Coexistence – the living together of two organisms or species in the same habitat without trying to eliminate the other
  6. Commensalism – an association between two organisms in which one benefits and the other derives neither benefit nor harm.
  7. Competition – an interaction between organisms or species for resources – food, shelter, etc.
  8. Consumer – an organism that obtains energy from feeding on another organism
  9. Decomposer – organisms that break down waste and the remains of other organisms to return the raw materials back to the ecosystem
  10. Density-dependent factor – The tendency for the death rate in a population to increase, or the birth or growth rate to decrease, as the density of the population increases
  11. Density-independent factor – The tendency for the death, birth or growth rate in a population neither to rise nor fall as the density increases
  12. Ecological Pyramid – models that show how energy flows through ecosystems
  13. Food Chain – the order in which matter and energy in the form of food is transferred from one organism to another
  14. Food Web – a network of food chains or feeding relationships
  15. Mutualism – a relationship between two species of organisms that both benefit from the relationship
  16. Nitrogen Cycle – a continuous series of natural processes by which nitrogen passes successively from air to soil to organisms and back to air or soil
  17. Parasitism – a relationship between two organisms in which one benefits or lives off the other
  18. Population – a group of individuals of one species in an area
  19. Predation – an interaction between species in which one species (the predator) eats the other (the prey)
  20. Producer – an organism that can make its own food
  21. Trophic Level – each level in the transfer of energy through an ecosystem
  22. Water Cycle – the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the Earth’s surface


8.L.4: Evolution of Lifeforms

Vocabulary Cards Due Wednesday April 3rd

  1. Adaptation– a trait that increases the chances that an organism will survive and reproduce
  2. Analogous structures– similar structures that evolved independently in two living organisms to serve the same purpose.
  3. Artificial selection– the breeding of plants and animals with desired traits to attempt to produce offspring with these same traits.
  4. Biological evolution– the change over time of living organisms
  5. Darwin– was a naturalist who proposed and provided scientific evidence that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors through the process he called natural selection.
  6. Extinction–  The evolutionary termination of a species caused by the failure to reproduce and the death of all remaining members of the species; the natural failure to adapt to environmental change.
  7. Fossil– evidence of past life preserved in rock.
  8. Fossil record– the complete body of fossils that shows how species and ecosystems change over time.
  9. Homologous structures– organs or skeletal elements of animals and organisms that, by virtue of their similarity, suggest their connection to a common ancestor
  10. Index fossil–  a fossil found in a narrow time range but widely distributed around the earth; used to date rock layers
  11. Mutation– a random change to a gene that results in a new trait
  12. Natural selection– survival of the fittest organisms that are the best adapted to their environment and the ones that will live long enough to reproduce and pass on their favorable adaptations
  13. Species– the most specific classification of living things
  14. Speciation– the process of natural selection producing a new species out of existing species over thousands or millions of years.
  15. Theory– an explanation that ties together many hypotheses and observations.



8.P.2: Renewable & Nonrenewable Resources

  1. Biomass: organic matter that can be used as an energy source. (ex: wood, crops, and animal waste)
  2. Consequences: something that happens as a result of a particular action or set of conditions
  3. Conservation: a careful preservation and protection of something; especially : planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.
  4. Depletion: reduction in the number or quantity of something.
  5. Energy Transformation: the change of energy from one form to another.  There are many different forms of energy such as electrical, thermal, nuclear, mechanical, electromagnetic, sound, and chemical.
  6. Fossil Fuels: a natural fuel formed in the past from the remains of living things. (ex: coal, oil, natural gas)
  7. Geothermal Energy: heat energy from within the earth.
  8. Hydropower: energy that comes from the force of moving water.
  9. Nonrenewable energy: an energy source that cannot be replaced by natural means at the same rate that it is consumed.
  10. Nuclear Energy: energy stored in the nucleus of an atom.
  11. Renewable energy– A source of energy that can be replaced as it is used or that cannot be used up
  12. Solar Energy: energy radiated from the sun.
  13. Wind Energy: energy harnessed from air in motion.


  1. Biotechnology: the exploitation of biological processes for industrial and other purposes, especially the genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics, hormones, etc.; the manipulation of living things to make useful products
  2. Ethics: a set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming a specified group, field, or form of conduct.
  3. Microbial: A microorganism, especially a bacterium that causes disease; a minute life form.
  4. Microorganism: a microscopic organism, especially a bacterium, virus, or fungus
  5. Cloning: a technique that produces an organism that is an exact genetic  copy of another
  6. Selective Breeding: the intentional mating of two animals in an attempt to produce offspring with desirable characteristics or for the elimination of a trait.
  7. Stem Cells: a simple cell in the body that is able to develop into any one of various kinds of cells(such as blood cells, skin cells, etc.)
  8. Biofuels:  A type of energy derived from renewable plant and animal materials or organic matter.
  9. Bioremediation:  introduced microorganisms that break down environmental pollutants, in order to clean up a polluted site
  10. Genetic Engineering:  DNA manipulation of cells or organisms- Genes are added, deleted or changed.
  11. Genetic Modification:  allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another and also between non-related species. (GMO)
  12. Mutagen:  a toxic chemical that causes damage to an organism’s DNA.
  13. Mutation:  a random change to a gene that results in a new trait.


8.L.1.2 Epidemics and Pandemics Vocabulary

  1. Epidemic– An outbreak of a disease that affects many people in an area
  2. Pandemic– An epidemic that spreads over a large area, or throughout the world
  3. Vector– An organism that transmits a disease.  The organism does not cause the disease itself, but spreads infection by conveying pathogens from one host to another.  Example-Mosquitoes are vectors for the deadly disease Malaria. Vectors are not infected with the pathogen but merely move it from one organism to another.
  4. Carrier– An organism that is infected with a pathogen and can spread it to other organisms but does not show any outward signs of the infection.
  5. Pathogen– An organism that causes disease
  6. Microbe (microorganism)– A living thing that cannot be seen without a microscope
  7. Antimicrobial– An agent, like a drug, that is destructive to or prevents the growth of microorganisms


  1. Microbiology– The study of microscopic organisms
  2. Virus– A small, nonliving particle that invades and then reproduces inside a living cell.
  3. Bacteria– Single-celled organisms that lack a nucleus; prokaryotes
  4. Cocci (plural) Coccus– a round or spherical shaped bacterium
  5. Bacilli (plural) Bacillus– a rod-shaped bacterium
  6. Spirilla (plural) Spirillum– a bacterium that has a spiral shape
  7. Fungi– Eukaryotic organisms that have cell walls, use spores to reproduce, and are heterotrophs that feed by absorbing food.
  8. Parasite– An organism that lives on or in a host and causes harm to the host
  9. Disease– a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.
  10. Antibiotics– A chemical that can kill bacteria without harming a person’s cells
  11. Passive Immunity– Immunity in which antibodies are given to a person rather than produced within the person’s own body
  12. Active Immunity– Immunity that occurs when a person’s own immune system produces antibodies in response to the presence of a pathogen
  13. Vaccine– A substance introduced into the body to stimulate the production of chemicals that destroy specific viruses, bacteria, or other disease-causing organisms
  14. Vaccination– The process by which harmless antigens are deliberately introduced into a person’s body to produce active immunity
  15. Infectious disease– A disease caused by the presence of a living thing in the body
  16. Noninfectious disease– A disease that is not caused by a pathogen




8.E.1.4: Water Stewardship

  1. Algal Bloom– a rapid increase in phytoplankton as a result of excess nutrients in the water/can serve as a bioindicator of water quality
    2. Coagulation– the action or process of a liquid changing to a solid or semi-solid state
  2. Disinfection– the process of cleaning something, especially with a chemical, in order to destroy bacteria
    4. Filtration– any of various mechanical, physical or biological operations that separate solids from fluids (liquids or gases) by adding a medium through which only the fluid can pass
    5. Flocculation– creating favorable conditions in water so that particles will stick together
    6. Nonpoint source pollution– pollution that occurs from unidentifiable sources
    7. Point source pollution– single, identifiable sources of pollution (In the case of water pollution, examples of point source pollutants might include a pipe, factory releasing pollutants into the water, etc.)
    8. Sedimentation– the process of settling or being deposited as a sediment
    9. Stewardship– taking care of something


8.E.1.3: Water Quality
Bioindicators– Organisms that indicate the health of a water ecosystem
Dissolved Oxygen– oxygen found in water; the higher the amount of dissolved oxygen, the healthier a water system is for organisms
Nitrates– groundwater contaminant that often times enters the groundwater through fertilizers, animal wastes, and sewage
pH (percent Hydrogen)– A measure of the acidity or basicity of a substance; measured on a scale from 1-14 with the lower numbers representing the highest acidity
Phosphates– inorganic compound created by the the removal or replacement of one, two, or all three hydrogen atoms in phosphoric acid; used in fertilizers and detergents and is a major cause of water pollution
Temperature– the degree or intensity of heat present in a substance
Turbidity– how clear or cloudy water is; water with a high turbidity is more difficult to see through
Macro-invertebrates– any of various invertebrate macro-organisms (such as a crayfish or stonefly)


Freshwater and Oceans Vocabulary

8.E.1.1: Freshwater

  1. Permeability– measure of how much water can flow through a substance
  2. River basin– an area of land drained by a river and its tributaries much like a bathtub catches all of the water that falls within its sides
    8.E.1.2: Oceans
    3. Aphotic Zone– the portion of a lake or ocean where there is little or no sunlight;formally defined as the depths beyond which less than 1% of sunlight penetrates.
    4. Benthic Zone– the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water such as an ocean or a lake, including the sediment surface and some sub-surface layers
    5. Intertidal Zone– the area of the shore and seabed that is exposed to the air at low tide and submerged at high tide, i.e. the area between tide marks
    6. Neritic Zone– the relatively shallow part of the ocean above the drop-off of the continental shelf, approximately 200 meters in depth
    7. Photic Zone– surface layer of the ocean that receives sunlight
    8. Open Ocean– the sunlit top layer of the ocean beyond the continental shelves; the vast bulk of the sea, it covers over 360,000,000 square kilometers of the Earth’s surface and is referred to as the ‘marine desert’ because nutrients are lower here than in the shallow seas; life can be scarce
    9. Upwelling– wind-driven process in which nutrient-rich, denser, colder water moves to the surface
    10. Downwelling– the downward movement of fluid, especially in the sea, the atmosphere, or deep in the earth
    11. Estuary– a place where freshwater meets up with salt water; nature’s nursery
    12. Phytoplankton– microscopic marine producers/base of an aquatic food web
    13. Hydrothermal vents– a fissure in a planet’s surface from which geothermally heated water issues. Hydrothermal vents are commonly found near volcanically active places, areas where tectonic plates are moving apart, ocean basins, and hotspots


8.E.1.1:  Water properties/Water Distribution

  1. Adhesion– When the atoms or molecules of a substance stick to other substances
  2. Cohesion– When the atoms or molecules of a substance stick together
  3. Condensation– When a gas to transform into a liquid as a result of cooling
  4. Density– Mass per unit volume; the amount of matter in a given amount of space.
  5. Evaporation– When a liquid to transforms into a gas as a result of heating
  6. Hydrosphere– All of the waters on and under Earth’s surface
  7. Polarity– Having a positive and negative end (pole) (i.e. Water is a polar molecule because it has a negatively charged side – the oxygen atom – and a positively charged side – the two hydrogen atoms)
  8. Precipitation– Rain, snow, sleet, hail
  9. Salinity– A measure of the amount of salt in a body of water
  10. Solvent– A liquid or a gas that dissolves another substance
  11. Specific Heat– How much heat energy it will take to raise or lower the temperature of an object. Water has a high specific heat meaning it takes a lot of energy to change the temperature of water.
  12. Surface Tension– Atoms and molecules in the surface of a substance exhibit the property of


Water Cycle– The journey water takes as it circulates from the land to the sky and back again.


8.P.1.4 Vocabulary

  1. Law of conservation of mass – The amount of matter does not change during a chemical reaction, only that the atoms are rearranged to form new substances. This is evidenced in a balanced chemical equation.
  2. Products – new substances formed in a chemical reaction and that they are located on the right side of the arrow in a chemical equation.
  3. Reactants – substances broken apart or combined in a chemical reaction and that they are located on the left side of the arrow in a chemical equation
  4. Chemical Equation– Uses chemical formulas and other symbols instead of words to summarize a reaction.  2H2 + O2 → 2H2O
  5. Closed System– A system in which no matter is allowed to enter or leave.
  6. Open System– A system in which matter can enter from or escape to the surroundings.
  7. Coefficient– A number in front of a chemical formula in an equation that indicates how many molecules or atoms of each reactant and product are involved in a reaction.  2H2 + O22H2O
  8. Subscript– A specific number of atoms of the element found in each molecule of a substance. 2H2 + O2 → 2H2O


Common Chemical Equations (flashcards only)

Substance Chemical Equation
Water H2O
Carbon dioxide CO2
Sucrose C12H22O11
Table salt NaCl
Oxygen O2
Household bleach NaClO
Hydrochloric acid HCl
Ammonia NH3
Baking Soda NaHCO3
Vinegar HC2H3O2, 5% solution


  1. Acid – pH of less than 7
  2. Base – pH of more than 7
  3. pH – scale used to classify solutions
  4. Chemical change – result in the formation of one or more new substances with new chemical and physical properties
  5. Chemical properties – be recognized only when substances react or do not react chemically with one another, that is, when they undergo a change in composition.
  6. Physical change – do not change the composition of a substance, only the physical properties
  7. Physical properties – can be observed and measured without changing the kind of matter being studied.
  8. Precipitate – a solid substance formed when two solutions are chemically combined.
  9. Products – new substances formed in a chemical reaction and that they are located on the right side of the arrow in a chemical equation.
  10. Reactants – substances broken apart or combined in a chemical reaction and that they are located on the left side of the arrow in a chemical equation


8.P.1.2 – Vocabulary

Electron a negatively charged subatomic particle found outside of the nucleus of the atom
Neutron a subatomic particle with  no charge (neutral) found in the nucleus of the atom.
Protons a positive subatomic particle found in the nucleus of an atom
Valence Electron The number of electrons found in the outer shell.

These electrons can be gained, lost, or shared during a chemical reaction.

Periodic Table A chart of the elements showing the repeating pattern of their properties.
Element A pure substance that cannot be broken down into other substances by chemical or physical means.
Atomic Number The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom.
Atomic Mass The average mass of all the isotopes of an element.
Group/Family Elements in the same vertical column of the periodic table.

18 Columns

Period A horizontal row of elements in the periodic table.

7 Rows

Metal elements with similar properties found on the left side of the “staircase” on the periodic table
Metalloid elements with similar properties that create a “staircase” on the periodic table
Nonmetal elements with similar properties found on the right side of the “staircase” on the periodic table
Malleability A term used to describe a material that can be pounded into shapes.
Conductivity The ability of an object to transfer heat or electricity to another object.
Reactive The ease and speed with which an element combines, or reacts, with other elements and compounds.
Ductility A term used to describe a material that can be pulled out into a long wire.


8.P.1.1 Vocabulary

Chemical change - result in the formation of one or more new substances with new chemical and physical properties
Chemical properties - be recognized only when substances react or do not react chemically with one another, that is, when they undergo a change in composition.
Compound -  pure substances that are composed of two or more types of elements that are chemically combined
Mixture -  physical combinations of two or more different substances that retain their own individual properties and are combined physically (mixed together)
Heterogeneous Mixture - is not uniform throughout, the component substances can be visibly distinguished
Homogeneous Mixture - is uniform throughout, the substances are evenly mixed and cannot be visibly distinguished
Physical change - do not change the composition of a substance, only the physical properties
Physical properties - can be observed and measured without changing the kind of matter being studied.