Scientific Names


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AGES 12+

Familiarize yourself with new scientific names, and participate in our interactive science quiz and complete an assignment, Available as a pdf worksheet, to complete your knowledge. Please note that no answers are given on these worksheets as many questions are open ended. To help students with the projects and worksheets prepare the science names list. (4 pages pdf) The periodic table may help with some projects too!

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Acoustics is the study of sound waves and how they are soaked up or reflected. 


Aerodynamics is the science that deals with air moving against an object.


An Alloy is a metal that has a mixture of two or more metals or sometimes a non-metal.


Amalgam is a special alloy that has a special mixture of metals, one is mercury.


Ampere is the scientific name used to measure one unit of electric current, usually shortened to Amp.


Anodizing places a protective coating of oxide on the surface of a metal.


Antiseptics  kill and prevent the growth of disease causing organisms.


Asepsis is the condition where there is a complete absence of bacteria or other germs.


Bacteriophage often called phage, is any virus that attacks bacteria.


A Barometer measures the change in atmospheric pressure.

Brownian motion

Brownian motion is the continual movement of microscopic particles suspended in liquid or gas.


Buoyancy is the name given to the upwards forces exerted on a given object when it is in liquid or gas.


Calcium is a soft, silvery white metallic element which reacts with water and oxygen.

capillary action

Capillary action is the process which causes liquid in the soil to rise up through roots and stems.


The Celsius scale is one of the measuring systems for temperature. It is sometimes called the Centigrade scale.


When deforestation occurs on steep slopes, it is very damaging to the environment, often causing erosion.


Desertification is the process by which an existing desert spreads across a previous fertile area


Diamonds are the hardest known naturally occurring substance and are extremely resistant to acid or alkali.


An Ecologist is a person who studies why plants and animals live in some places and not in other places.


Electroencephalograph is an instrument designed to record the electrical activity of the brain.


Enzymes break down substances into a more simple substance that living things can use.


The unit of frequency is measured in Hertz which was named after someone  called Heinrich Hertz.


Friction is a force which tends to stop objects from sliding past each other. 


Nuclear, natural gas, petroleum, coal, oil, hydroelectric and wind generation can all be used for fuel.


Galvanizing is an industrial process for rust proofing iron and steel. The metals are covered with a thin layer of zinc.


Gestation is the early development, from the time of fertilization to the moment of birth.


Histology is the branch of biology concerned with the tissues of plants and animals.


Hurricane winds blow anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.


Hydrogen is a colourless, odourless gas and about 14 times lighter than air.


An Implosion is the reverse of an explosion. An implosion occurs when a vessel collapses inward.


The symbol In. stands for Indium which is a soft, silvery metallic element.


Indigo is blue. It used to be derived from several plants but now it is made artificially.


Jade is a hard, compact mineral that is often used to make jewellery and carved ornaments.


Jasper is a variety of flint. It is commonly red but it may be brown, yellow or green.


If you look at Jet under a microscope you can see the texture of wood running through it.


Kaolin, or China clay is a white or nearly white clay. When wet, it is plastic and made into pottery.


Keratin is a tough material that forms the basis of hair, feathers, wool, claws, nails, hooves etc.


Krypton is an inert gas and occurs in the air.


Landslide disasters occur when large masses of soil and rock crash down a mountain side.

lapis lazuli

Lapis Lazuli is a beautiful, deep blue stone which can be cut and polished to make ornaments.

laughing gas

Laughing Gas is a common name for Nitrous Oxide. It is a colourless gas with slightly sweet
smell and taste.


Magma is molten rock that rises from the interior of the earth and solidifies either on
the surface or beneath it to form igneous rocks.


Magnetite is a black, metallic mineral consisting of iron oxide.


A Magnetometer measures the earth's natural magnetism.  Magnetometers are used in geophysical surveys.


The smell of Naphthalene repels insects and pests, therefore it is sometimes used to keep stored
clothes free of insects.


A Nebula is a vast mass of gas and dust in space. The name Nebula comes from the Latin word meaning "cloud".


Nekton is the name
given to all those animals that swim actively at various levels in the sea.

oil shale

Oil Shale is a fine-grained, dark brown or black rock from which oil can be extracted.


An organ is any distinct part of a human or animal or plant that has a characteristic shape
and structure.


Only females have ovaries. The ovary contains eggs or ova and produces sex hormones.


A parasite is any species of plant or animal that lives in close association with another species.


The process was first developed by the Frenchman Louis Pasteur.


Peat is a kind of coal that is used as fuel and fertilizer. It is found in bogs.


Pneumatics uses the power of compressed air to operate or drive machines that run on compressed air.


A quadrant is an
instrument used to measure latitudes and altitudes.


People who tread on quicksand may sink into it and drown because they struggle to escape.


Quinine is a drug to lower fever, particularly in treating malaria. It also acts to destroy the malaria parasites in the body.


Reflex is an automatic response of the body. If you touched a hot object your automatic reflex makes you pull away from the hot object.


Resources are all those raw materials, including sources of energy that the earth provides.

Richter Scale

Richter scale is a measurement using the numbers 1 to 12 to express the magnitude of earthquakes.

saint Elmo

Saint Elmo's Fire is a glow like halo sometimes seen around pointed buildings in stormy weather or around an aircraft flying in stormy air or dry snow.


A Seismograph is a very sensitive instrument which is used to record the magnitude of an earthquake in terms of the shock waves it produces.


Shock is a serious state of collapse that occurs when the body over-reacts to an injury, a severe emotional upset, or some other form of stress.


Tannin is a yellow compound that occurs in parts of many plants, such as the bark of trees, oak galls, walnuts and even tea leaves and coffee beans.


A Theodolite is an instrument which measures vertical and horizontal angles and distances. It is used to survey accurately a large area of land.

Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) invented over 1000 inventions. He was born in Milan, Ohio, in the US.


Tsunami is a large, often destructive, sea wave produced by a submarine earthquake, subsidence or volcanic eruption.


A UFO is short for Unidentified Flying Object. Tales of UFO's have been around for a long time.


Ultrasonics sound waves are a movement of particles back and forth along the direction the sound travels.


Uranium is a silvery, radioactive, metallic element that is used as a source of nuclear power.


Vinblastine is a cytotoxic drug used in the treatment of lymphomas.


Viruses are much smaller even than bacteria and can only be seen with an electron microscope.


Vulcanizing is a process for hardening rubber. The rubber from the tree is sticky and plastic.

Wardian case

A Wardian Case is a type of glass container used for housing delicate ferns and similar plants.


All living creatures depend upon water for survival.

wood decay

All wood decay is caused by bacteria and fungi. They eat into the cells and leave rotting wood behind.


Xenon is colourless. It is also odourless and a gaseous element occurring in trace amounts in air.


Xerophthalmia is an excessive dryness of the cornea and conjunctiva, caused by a deficiency of vitamin A


Xerostomia means there is an abnormal lack of saliva. You will have extreme dryness of the mouth.


Yeast is a fungi that lives on fruit naturally. It feeds on the fruit's sugar and converts it to carbon dioxide and water.


The yolk is the substance in an animal ovum consisting of protein and fat that nourishes the developing embryo.


Ytterbium is a soft  malleable silvery element of the lanthanide series of metals that occurs in


Astronomers use the term Zenith for the point of the celestial sphere that lies directly above an observer.


The Zodiac is a region of the sky lying on either side of the ecliptic, the sun's apparent path
through the heavens.


The zygote is the fertilized egg of an animal or plant. 

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