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Course Glossary

Page history last edited by Hassan Wilson 13 years, 3 months ago

Last updated Thursday, 7 May 2009, 03:04 pm

A

abiotic

:

non-living

 

abstract

:

first section of a lab report; short summary of the experiment and findings; a person may read an abstract before deciding to read through the entire report; includes hypothesis, experiment description, summary of results, and summary of conclusion.

 

adaptation

:

a trait that helps an organism to survive and reproduce in a particular ecosystem; a trait may be considered helpful in one ecosystem, but harmful in another ecosystem.

 

aperture

:

small hole in stage of microscope in which light goes through to show the specimen

 

aquatic

:

to live in water

 

arm

:

part of microsope that is grasped when one carries the microscope

 

asexual reproduction

:

when an organism makes offspring using only one parent; parent and offspring are usually clones

 

autotroph

:

an organism that can create its own food; producer; organism that can perform photosynthesis

B

base

:

bottom of microscope that provides support; one hand is placed under it when one carries the microscope.

 

biodiversity

:

the sum total of the different types of organisms

 

biogenesis

:

the idea that organisms come from other organisms; the opposite of spontaneous generation

 

biome

:

a group of similar ecosystems with similar abiotic conditions and organisms, like desert, tropical rainforest, oceans, etc.

 

biotic

:

living

 

blog

:

website that contains articles/readings that readers can comment on

 

body tube

:

part of microscope that holds the eyepiece and connects it to the objectives

C

carbohydrate

:

sugar

 

carnivore

:

a consumer that is a meat eater

 

cell

:

smallest unit of life; all organisms are made of at least one cell; one of the characteristics of life

 

cell membrane

:

thin organelle that surrounds cells and unicellular organisms; regulates or limits the passage of materials into and out of the cell; the "security gate" of the cell.

 

cell wall

:

organelle that surrounds the cell membrane of some cells or unicellular organisms; provides structural support; the "shell" of the cell

 

characteristics of life

:

the list of requirements that are used to determine if something should be considered as living; includes: reproduction, perform complex chemical activities (get energy), growth & development, respond to environment, made of cells, and (maybe) movement.

 

chlorophyll

:

green substance found inside chloroplasts which trap sunlight during photosynthesis

 

chloroplast

:

organelle inside a cell that carries out photosynthesis; the "solar energy factory" of the cell.

 

cilia

:

plural form of cilium

 

cilium

:

a hair-like organelle that allows a cell or unicellular organism to move

 

clone

:

an organism that has identical DNA to another organism

 

coarse adjustment knob

:

large knob that, when turned, lowers or raises the stage and brings specimen into view; used before the fine adjustment knob

 

competition

:

a relationship in which organisms (of the same or different species) "fight" for resources.

 

complex chemical activities

:

when an organism gets energy from food or uses energy to create food; one of the characteristics of life

 

conclusion

:

part of experiment, lab report and scientific method that interprets the data and states if the hypothesis is supported or not supported; explanation of findings

 

constants

:

controls or controlled variables; the endless similarities between all test subjects (experimental groups and control groups); the factors that remain the same for all test subjects

 

consumer

:

heterotroph

 

control group

:

group of test subjects that receive normal treatment or remain unchanged during an experiment; opposite of experimental group

 

controlled variables

:

constants or controls

 

controls

:

constants or controlled variables

 

cool feedback

:

feedback that is critical in nature; things that someone could have improved;

 

cytoplasm

:

the liquid filling of the cell.

D

decomposer

:

an organism (like bacteria or fungi) that eats dead organisms and, in doing so, recycles nutrients back to the ecosystem

 

dependent variable

:

responding variable; factor you measure in the experiment and what is affected during the experiment; "proposed" effect; expected to respond to the independent variable; usually plotted on y-axis of a graph.

 

development

:

when an organism changes and becomes more complex; one of the characteristics of life

 

diaphragm

:

part of the microscope under the stage that, when turned, changes the amount of light that shines through the

aperture.

 

DNA

:

substance found in cells which direct the activities of the cell and determine the traits of the cell/organism

E

ecology

:

the study of ecosystems

 

ecosystem

:

the biotic and abiotic components of an environment; a place where living and non-living things interact

 

evaluate

:

to judge; to say if something is correct of incorrect; to provide feedback

 

experiment

:

test of a hypothesis and/or prediction

 

Experiment description

:

Short explanation of the experiment--a brief summary of the procedure with important details; written version of experimental set-up.

 

experimental group

:

group of test subjects that receive abnormal treatment or are changed during an experiment; opposite of control group

 

Experimental Set-up

:

A visual representation of the procedure--one labeled picture/drawing showing the containers and materials used in the experiment; one should be able to deduce the important aspects of the procedure by looking at this picture; visual version of experiment description.

 

extinction

:

the death of an entire species of organism

 

eyepiece

:

part of microscope that you look through to see the specimen

F

feedback

:

to judge or evaluate; includes warm feedback and cool feedback

 

fine adjustment knob

:

small knob that, when turned, lowers or raises the stage and shows the details of the specimen; used after the coarse adjustment knob.

 

flagella

:

plural form of flagellum

 

flagellum

:

a whip-like organelle that allows cells or unicellular organisms to move

 

food chain

:

A sequence of organisms, each of which uses the next, lower member of the sequence as a food source.

Source: www.translationdirectory.com/glossaries/glossary027.htm

food web

:

interconnected food chains

G

gamete

:

a sex cell like an egg or sperm

 

germinate

:

when a plant sprouts from a seed, usually does NOT require sunlight because it mainly occurs underground--underneath soil

 

germination

:

when a plant germinates

 

graphic organizer

:

handout that students can record notes on

 

growth

:

when an organism increases in size; in a multicellular organism, the organism grows by adding more cells; one of the characteristics of life

H

habitat

:

natural environment or area in which an organism lives; much smaller than an ecosystem; specific "address" of an organism; an ecosystem is made of many habitats.

 

herbivore

:

a consumer that is a plant eater

 

heterotroph

:

an organism that eats other organisms, dead organisms or parts of organisms to get energy; consumer

 

high power objective

:

part of microsope that is used for viewing specimen with highest magnification; used for viewing best detail; longest objective; last objective used.

 

host

:

an organism that a parasite lives in or on and is damaged by the parasite.

 

hypotheses

:

plural form of hypothesis

 

hypothesis

:

tentative and natural explanation of an observation; plural form = hypotheses

 

hypothesize

:

the process of making hypotheses

I

independent variable

:

manipulated variable; factor that is intentionally change in an experiment; "proposed" cause; the factor that is expected to cause a change in the dependent variable; usually plotted on x-axis of a graph.

K

kingdom

:

a large catergory of organism; includes animal, plant, protist, moneran and fungus groups

L

lifespan

:

the maximum amount of time an organism is expected to live

 

light (of microscope)

:

source of light that is usually found near the base; makes the specimen easier to see.

 

low power objective

:

part of microsope that is used for viewing specimen with lowest magnification; used for finding the specimen and getting a general view; smallest/shortest objective; first objective used

 

lysosome

:

organelle inside of the cell that digests big food particles into smaller ones and digests old cell parts; the "clean up crew" of the cell.

M

manipulate

:

to change or to alter; to increase or decrease

 

manipulated variable

:

independent variable

 

marine

:

salt water, as in oceans; opposite from freshwater

 

mass extinction

:

the extinction of a great number of species that occur simultaneously or within a short period of time.

 

materials & methods

:

part of the lab report that includes the materials used (materials list) and the steps taken (procedure) in an experiment.

 

medium

:

a liquid or solid in which organisms are placed to grow, like soil, sand or water. For example, plants are placed into soil; the soil acts as the medium

 

medium power objective

:

part of microsope that is used for viewing specimen with medium magnification; used for viewing detail of the specimen; medium length objective; used after the low power objective.

 

metric system

:

system of measurement used in science; system of units that uses the meter as a unit length, the gram as a unit mass, the liter as a unit of volume, degree celsius as a unit temperature, and the second as a unit time.

 

microscopic

:

so small that a microscope is needed to view it

 

microsope

:

instrument in which someone could view small things, like cells.

 

mitochondria

:

plural form of mitochondrion

 

mitochondrion

:

an organelle that releases energy from food and provides it to the cell; the "powerhouse" of the cell

 

multicellular

:

an organism that is made of more than one cell

 

mutualism

:

a close relationship between organisms of different species in which each organism benefits.

N

nosepiece

:

part of microsope at the bottom of the body tube that holds and rotates the objectives

 

nuclei

:

plural form of nucleus

 

nucleus

:

organelle that stores DNA and directs the activities of the cell or unicellular organism; "brain" of the cell; plural form = nuclei

O

observation

:

the act of observing

 

observe

:

to receive knowledge or take notice about something by using the 5 senses

 

offspring

:

a new organism created by one or more parents; product of reproduction

 

omnivore

:

a consumer that can eat meat and plants; an organism that is both a herbivore and carnivore.

 

organelle

:

part of a cell

 

organism

:

a living thing

P

parasite

:

an organism that lives in or on a host (another organism) and causes harm to it.

 

parasitism

:

the relationship between a parasite and its host, when an organism lives in or on another organism and cause harm to it.

 

pesticide

:

chemical that humans use to kill unwanted organisms like insects, weeds, rodents, etc.

 

photosynthesis

:

process in which some organisms (autotrophs) trap sunlight and combine water and carbon dioxide to create food (carbohydrates); occurs in the chloroplast organelle of autotrophic cells

 

phototaxis

:

when an organism or cell moves toward or away from light

 

power switch (of microscope)

:

turns the light of the microscope on or off.

 

predation

:

the relationship between predator and prey, when an organism kills and eats another organism.

 

predator

:

a carnivore that kills another organism (prey) for food.

 

predict

:

the process of making predictions

 

prediction

:

expected outcome that assumes the hypothesis is either true or false; may be written as "if the hypothesis is true [or false], then _______ should happen when _______ is manipulated."

 

prey

:

an organism that is killed by another organism (predator) for food.

 

procedure

:

methods component of the materials and methods section of lab report; steps followed in an experiment

 

producer

:

autotroph

 

publish

:

to share information with others in a formal way - like in a lab report, presentation, website, wiki, blog, paper or journal

R

reproduction

:

when organisms make more of themselves by passing down their DNA; includes sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction; one of the characteristics of life

 

respond to environment

:

when an organism reacts to something in the environment; one of the characteristics of life

 

responding variable

:

dependent variable

 

response

:

a change in an organism caused by a stimulus

 

results

:

data; part of experiment, scientific method and lab report that contains all of the data; the data tables, graphs and observation tables

S

scavenger

:

a carnivore that eats animals that have already been killed by a predator

 

scientific method

:

process of science investigation that may follow the steps of observe, hypothesize, predict, experiment, collect data, draw conclusions, and publish

 

sexual reproduction

:

when an organism make more offspring by using two parents; offspring are a combination of parents

 

socratic seminar

:

discussion in which an inner circle of discussion members are observed by an outer circle of students, outer circle will provide feedback about the discussion and participants after the discussion is finished.

 

specimen

:

a living test subject; organism that someone is observing or investigating

 

spontaneous generation

:

the idea that organisms come from non-living inanimate objects; the opposite of biogenesis

 

stage

:

flat surface of microscope in which the specimen is placed

 

stage clips

:

shiny clips on the top of the stage that holds the specimen in place

 

stimulus

:

a change in environment that causes a response in an organism

T

tentative

:

subject to revision or change; can be disproved, changed or corrected when more evidence is learned

 

TerrAqua Column

:

a small model of an ecosystem made of bottles and consists of two levels; the top is level contains soil medium and land organisms; the bottom level contains water medium and aquatic organisms; abbreviated TAC

 

test subject groups

:

groups of test subjects; include experimental groups and control groups

 

test subjects

:

living or nonliving objects that an scientist experiments on; includes experimental groups and control groups

 

testable

:

can be experimented on; can be observed directly or indirectly

 

theory

:

A hypothesis that is accepted to be true because it is supported by a great amount of evidence; explains a set of observations

 

trophic level

:

an organism's particular location on the food chain, either producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, tertiary consumer, decomposer, etc.

 

tuning protocol

:

activity in class in which students share their work (like experiment design) and other students give warm feedback and cool feedback.

U

unicellular

:

an organism that is made of only one cell

V

vacuole

:

organelle inside the cell that stores nutrients (food and water) and waste; the "storage bins" of the cell

 

variable

:

any factor that could be changed and measured in an experiment; includes independent variables (manipulated variables), dependent variables (responding variables) and controlled variables (constants or controls); note that variables do not have to change during an experiment-- in fact, controlled variables should not change during an experiment

W

warm feedback

:

feedback that is positive; things that someone did well or correctly

 

wiki

:

website in which contributors edit the content

 

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