• 4th Grade Curriculum Science Vocabulary


    Amber – Hardened tree sap, yellow or brown in color, often a source of insect fossils.


    Asteroid – Chunks of rock and metal that orbit the Sun.


    Axis – Areal or imaginary line that a spinning object turns around.


    Balance – An instrument used to measure mass.


    Cast – A fossil formed or shaped within a mold.


    Classify – To place things that share properties together in groups.


    Comet – A chunk of ice and rock that orbits the Sun in a long narrow orbit.


    Compound machine – A combination of two or more simple machines.


    Constellation – A number of stars that appears to form a pattern.


    Crater – A hollow area or pit in the ground.


    Efficiency – The measure of how much useful work a machine puts out compared to the amount of work put into it.


    Effort force – The amount of force needed to move something.


    Fossil – Any evidence of an organism that lived in the past.


    Fulcrum – A fixed point that supports the bar of a lever and allows the bar to turn, or pivot.


    Inclined plane – A straight, slanted surface that is not moved when it is used.


    Kinetic energy – The energy an object has because it is moving.


    Lever – A simple machine made of a rigid bar or plank and a fixed point, called a fulcrum.


    Load – The object being lifted or moved by a machine.


    Luster – The way a mineral reflects light.


    Mass – The amount of matter making up a space.


    Matter – Anything that has mass and takes up space.


    Measure – To find the size, volume, area, mass, weight, or temperature of an object, or how long an event occurs.


    Metamorphic rock – Rock whose form has been changed by heat and/or pressure.


    Meteor – A fragment of rock, ice, or metal that burns up in Earth’s atmosphere.


    Meteorite – A chunk of rock from space that hit earth.


    Metric system – A system of measurement based on units of 10. Metric units such as the meter, kilogram, and liter are used in all countries of the world and all scientific and military work.


    Mineral – A naturally occurring substance, neither a plant nor an animal.


    Mold – A type of fossil that is a hollow form with a particular shape.


    Observe – To use one or more of the senses to identify or learn about an object or event.


    Opaque – Completely blocking light from passing through.


    Orbit – The path an object follows as it revolves.


    Petrified – Said of parts of plants or animals, especially wood and bone, that have been preserved by being “turned to stone.”


    Phase – One of the different shapes the moon appears to take as it travels around Earth.


    Planet – A satellite of the Sun.


    Potential energy – Energy that is stored or waiting to be used, giving an object the future ability to do work.


    Predict – To state possible results of an event or experiment.


    Pulley – A machine made up of a rope, belt, or chain, wrapped around a wheel with a grove.


    Revolve – To move in a circular or nearly circular path around something else.


    Rock cycle – A never-ending process by which rocks are changed from one type to another.


    Rotate – To spin around.


    Scale – An instrument used to measure weight.


    Screw – An inclined plane twisted into a spiral.


    Sediment – Deposited rock particles and other materials that settle in a liquid.


    Sedimentary rock – Rock formed from bits or layers of rocks cemented together.


    Simple machine – A machine with few moving parts, making it easier to do work. The six types of simple machines are the lever, pulley, wheel and axle, inclined plane, wedge, and screw.


    Solar system – The Sun and all the objects that orbit around it.


    Speed – The distance traveled in a certain amount of time.


    Star – A hot sphere of gases that gives off energy.


    Streak plate – A glass plate that a mineral can be rubbed against to find out the color of the streak it leaves.


    Temperature – A measure of how hot or cold something is.


    Thermometer – An instrument used to measure temperature.


    Vibration – The back and forth motion of an object.


    Volume - The amount of space an object takes up.


    Wedge – A moving inclined plane.


    Weight – The measure of the pull of gravity between an object and Earth.


    Wheel & Axel – A simple machine made of a handle or axel attached to the center of the wheel.


    Work – The use of a force to move an object a certain distance.