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86 terms

PSSA Vocabulary Words

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abiotic
a nonliving factor or element (light,water,heat,rock,energy,mineral)
acid deposition
precipitatation with a pH less than 5.6 that forms in the atmosphere when certain pollutants mix with water vapor
alllele
any of a set of possible forms of a gene
biochemical conversion
the changing of organic matter into other chemical forms
biological diversity
the variety and complexity of species present and interacting in an ecosystem and the relative abundance of each
biomass conversion
the changing of organic matter that has been produced by photosynthesis into uselful liquid, gas, or fuel
biomedical technology
the application of health care theories to develop methods, products and tools to maintain or improve homeostasis
biomes
a community of living organisms of a single major ecological region
biotechnology
the ways that humans apply biological concepts to produce products and provide services
biotic
an enviromental factor related to or produced by living organisms
carbon chemistry
the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of carbon based matter, especially of atomic and molecular systems; sometimes referred to as organic chemistry
closing the loop
a link in the circular chain of recycling events that promotes the use of products made with recycled materials
commodities
economic goods or products before they are processed and/or given a brand name, such as a product of agriculture
composting
the process of mixing decaying leaves, manure and other nutritive matter to improve and fertilize soil
construction technology
the ways that humans build structures on sites
consumer
1) those organisms that obtain energy by feeding on other organisms and their remains 2) a person buying goods or sevices for personal needs or to use in the production of other goods for resale
decomposer
an organism, often microscopic in size, that obtains nutrients by consuming dead organic matter, thereby making nutrients accessible to other organisms; examples of decomposers include fungi, scavengers, rodents, and other animals
delineate
to trace the outline; to draw, to sketch, to depict or picture
desalinization
to remove salts and other chemicals from sea or saline salt water
dichotomous
divided or dividing into two parts or classifications
ecosystem
a community of living organisms and their interrelated physical and chemical environment
electronic communication
system for the transmission of information using electronic technology (digital cameras, cellular phones, Internet, television, fiber optics
embryology
the branch of biology dealing with the development of living things from fertilized egg to its developed state
endangered species
a species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range
engineering
the application of scientific, physical, mechanical and mathematical principals to design processes, products, and structures that improve the quality of life
enviroment
the total of the surroundings (air,water,soil,vegetation, people,wildlife) influencing each living being's existence, including physical, biological and all other factors; the surroundings of a plant or animals including other plants or animals, climate and location
enzyme
a protein that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without being changed by the reaction; an organic catalyst
equilibrium
the ability of an ecosystem to maintain stability among its biological resources (e.g., forest,fisheries,crops) so that there is a steady optimum yield
ergonomical
of or relating to the design of equipment or devices to fit the human body's control, position, movement, and environment
evolution
a process of change that explains why what we see today is different from what existed in the past; it includes changes in the galaxies, stars, solar system, earth and life on earth. Biological evolution is a change in hereditary characteristics of groups of arganisms over the course of generations
extinction
the complete elimination of a species from the earth
fact
information that has been objectively verified
geological hazard
a naturally occurring or man-made condition or phenomenon that presents a risk or is a potential danger to life and property (e.g.,landslides,floods, earthquakes, ground subsidence, coastal and beach erosion, faulting, dam leakage and failure, mining disasters, pollution, and waste disposal, sinkholes)
geological map
a representation of a region on which is recorded earth information (e.g.,the distribution, nature, and age relationships of rock units and the occurrences of structural features, mineral deposits and fossil localities
groundwater
water that infiltrates the soil and is locatead in underground reservoirs call aquifers
hazardous waste
a solid that, because of its quantity or concentration or its physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics, may cause or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed
homeostasis
the tendency for a system to remain in a state of equilibrium by resisting change
hydrology
the scientific study of the properties, distribution and effects of water on the earth's surface, in the soil and underlying rocks and in the atmosphere
hypothesis
an assertion subject to verification or proof as a premise from which a conclusion is drawn
incinerating
burning to ashes; reducing to ashes
information technology
the technical means that humans create to store and transmit information
inquiry
a systematic process for using knowledge and skills to acquire and apply new knowledge
instructional technology
any mechanical aid (including computer technology) used to assist in or enhance the process of teaching and learning
integrated pest management
a variety of pest control methods that include repairs, traps, bait, poison, etc. to eliminate pests
law
summarizing statement of observed experimental facts that has been tested many times and is generally accepted as true
lentic
relating to or living in still water
lotic
relating to or living in actively moving water
manufacturing technology
the ways that humans produce goods and products
mitigation
the policy of constructing or creating man-made habitats, such as wetlands, to replace those lost to development
mitosis
the sequential differentiation and segregation of replicated chromosomes in a cell's nucleus that precedes complete cell division
model
a description, analogy or a representation of something that helps us understand it better (e.g.,a physical model, a conceptual model, a mathematical model)
niche (ecological)
the role palyed by anorganism in an ecosystem; its food preferences, requirements for shelter, special behaviors and the timing of its activities (e.g.,nocturnal,diurnal) interaction with other organisms and its habitat
nonpoint source pollution
contamination that originates from many locations that all discharge into a location (e.g.,a lake,stream,land area)
nonrenewable resources
substances (e.g.,oil,gas,coal,copper,gold) that, once used, cannnot be replaced in this geological age
nova
a variable star that suddenly increases in brightness to several times its normal magnitude and returns to its original appearance in a few weeks to several months or years
patterns
repeated processes that are exhibited in a wide variety of ways; identifiable recurrences of the element and/or the form
pest
a label applied to an organism when it is in competition with humans for some resource
physical technology
the ways that humans construct, manufacture and transport products
point source pollution
pollutants discharged from a single identifiable location (e.g., pipes,ditches,channels,sewers,tunnels,containers of various types)
radioactive isotope
an atom that gives off nuclear radiation and has the same number of protons (atomic number) as another atom but a different number of neutrons
recycling
collecting and reprocessing a resource or product to make into new products
regulation
a rule or order issued by an executive authority or regulatory agency of a government and having the force of law
renewable
a naturally occurring raw material or form of energy that will be replenished through natural ecological cycles or sound management practices (e.g.,the sun,wind,water,trees)
risk management
a strategy developed to reduce or control the chance of harm or loss to one's health or life; the process of identifying, evaluating, selecting and implementing actions to reduce risk to human health and to ecosystems
scale
relates concepts and ideas to one another by some measurement (e.g.,quantitative, numeral,abstract,ideological);provides a measure of size and /or incremental change
science
search for understanding the natural world using inquiry and experimentation
shredder
through chewing and/or grinding, microorganisms feed on non-woody coarse particulate matter,primarily leaves
stream order
energy and nutrient flow that increases as water moves toward the ocean (e.g.,the smallest stream (primary) that ends when rivers flow into oceans)
succession
the series of changes that occur in an ecosystem with the passing of time
sustainability
the ability to keep in existence or maintain. a sustainable ecosystem is one that can be maintained
system
a group of related objects that work together to achieve a desired result
closed loop system
a group of related objects that have feedback and can modify themselves
open loop system
a group of related objects that do not have feedback and cannot modify themselves
subsystem
a group of related objects that make up a larger system (e.g.,automobiles have electrical systems, fuel systems)
technological design process
recognizing the problem, proposing a solution, evaluating the solution and communicating the problem, design, and solution
technology education
the application of tools,materials, processes, and system to solve problems and extend human capabilities
theory of evolution
a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modification in successive generation
theory
systematically organized knowledge applicable in a relatively wide variety of circumstances;especially, a system of assumptions, accepted principles and rules of procedure devised to analyze, predict or otherwise explain the nature or behavior of a specified set of phenomena
tool
any device used to extend human capability including computer-based tools
topographic map
a representation of a region on a sufficient scale to show detail, selected man-made and natural features of a portion of the land surface including its relief and certain physical and cultural features; the portrayal of the position, relation, size, shape, and elevation of the area
transportation systems
a group of related parts that function together to perform a major task in any form of transportation
transportation technology
the physical ways humans move materials, goods and people
trophic levels
the role of an organism in nutrient and energy flow within an ecosystem (e.g.,herbivore,carnivore,decomposer)
waste stream
the flow of (waste) materials from generation, collection and seperation to disposal
watershed
the land of area from which surface runoff drains into a stream, channel, lake, reservoir, or other body of water; also called a drainage basin
wetlands
lands where water saturation is the dominant factor determining the nature of the soil development and the plant and animal communities (e.g.,sloughs,estuaries, marshes)