# Scientific Skills and Processes Glossary Includes cross-cutting concepts and unified science processes

Analogy is a comparison of function, structure, or properties between two things usually to clarify or explain.
Change Changes also vary in rate, scale, and pattern including trends and cycles. Energy can be transferred and matter can be changed, however the sum of matter and energy in systems remains the same. Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts bundled with: constancy, change, and measurement
Classify Group or order collections of objects or events according to observable common properties or differences, and variations. These properties could include color, shape, size, pattern, living-nonliving, sequence, behavior, rate, position, motion, scale, weight, mass, volume, density, taxonomy.
Communication Convey information through oral and written words, nonverbal signals, and visual representationsdiagrams, numbers, equations, graphs, drawings, diagrams, tables, exhibits, maps, models.
Compare

the process used to identify similarities and differences between or among things or ideas.
Conclusion a judgement or decision reached by reasoning.
Constancy Constancy (speed of light, charge of electron, mass plus energy in the universe) Change (Properties of matter, position of objects, motion, form and function of systems.) Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts bundled with: constancy, change, and measurement
Control variables Identify variables in a system and hold all variables constant except those to be manipulated in the experiment.
Define operationally Make a definition to describe an interaction or observation.
Equilibrium Equilibrium is a physical state in which forces and changes occur in opposite and off-setting directions. Opposite forces are of the same magnitude, or off-setting changes occur at equal rates. Steady state, balance, or homeostasis also describes equilibrium states. Interacting units of matte tend toward equilibrium states in which the energy is distributed as randomly and uniformly as possible. Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts bundled with: evolution and equilibrium
Explanation Scientific explanations incorporate scientific knowledge and new evidence from observation, experiments, or models into internally consistent, logical statements (hypothesis, model, law, principle, theory, and paradigm are used to describe various types of scientific explanations). Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts bundled with: evidence, models, and explanations
Experiment The ability to use some or all of the process skills to solve problems.
Evidence is data collected from observation used to explain an object or event. Evidence consists of observations and data on which to base scientific explanations. Use of evidence helps to understand interactions and predict changes in natural and designed systems. Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts bundled with: evidence, models, and explanations
Evolution Evolution is a series of changes, some gradual and some sporadic, that accounts for the present form and function of objects, organisms, and natural and designed systems. The general idea of evolution is that the present arises from materials and forms of the past. Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts bundled with: evolution and equilibrium
Form Form is the shape of an object or system. Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts bundled with: form and function
Function Function is the use or operation of an object or system. Form and function are complementary aspects of objects, organisms, and systems in the natural and designed world. The form or shape of an object or system is frequently related to use, operation, or function. Function frequently relies on form. Understanding of form and function applies to different levels of organization Students should be able to explain form by referring to function and explain function by referring to form. Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts bundled with: form and function
Hypothesize Make a generalized prediction which can be tested consistently through observable evidence that may indicate one possible explanation of an interaction or event . (rubric)
Inference is a conclusion based on observational evidence and reasoning.
Inquiry Asking and answering questions. Diverse ways in which people/ scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence derived from their observation. Also refers to the activities of in which people/ students develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, as well as an understanding of scientists study of the natural world. Excellent source on inquiry in K-5 classrooms
Interpret data Find a pattern in collected data that may lead to inferences, predictions, conclusions, hypotheses, or models and check for reasonableness of solutions.
Knowledge includes facts, concepts, principles, theories, and laws.
Measure is the process of making observations quantitative.
Measurement Measurement Changes can be quantified. Evidence for interactions and subsequent change and the formulation of scientific explanations are often clarified through quantitative distinctions - measurement. Scale includes understanding that different characteristics, properties, or relationships within a system might change as its dimensions are increased or decreased. Rate involves comparing one measured quantity with another measure quantity (50 meters per second). Rate is also a measure of change for a part relative to the whole, (birth rate as part of population growth). Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts bundled with: constancy, change, and measurement
Metaphor a figure of speech used to represent or symbolically compare things or ideas that are not literally related.
Model are tentative schemes or structures that correspond to real objects, events, or classes of events, and that have explanatory power for how things work. (Physical objects, plans, mental constructs, mathematical equations, and computer simulations. Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts bundled with: evidence, models, and explanations
Motion refers to any change in position in relation to some reference point Rotation and linear motion are examples.
Nature of science is a method for satisfying human’s curiosity for answering questions.
Object and living or nonliving piece or pieces of matter.
Observe Use of the senses to identify properties of objects, environments, and events. (rubric)

Sight - Size, shapes, colors, position, how objects interact;
Hear - loudness, pitch, rhythm;
Touch - flexibility, texture, hot-cold, shapes, size, mass, weight, wet-dry, density
Taste - bitter, salty, sour, sweet;
Smell associate objects with odors;

Similarities, differences, and changes in properties and motion of objects.

Order - events, size, mass, weight, density,

Use of scientific instruments to increase observation such as magnifying glass, ruler, thermometer, microscope, balance scale, binoculars, telescope, clock ...
Operational definitions

Make a definition to describe an interaction or observation.

## See - operational definition misconceptions, concepts, examples, and educator notes.

Order is the behavior of units of matter, objects, organisms, or events in the universe. It can be described statistically. Probability is the relative certainty or uncertainty that individuals can assign to selected events happening or not happening in a specified space or time. In science reduction of uncertainty occurs through such processes as the development of knowledge about factors influencing objects, organisms, systems, or events; better and more observations; and better explanatory models.see Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts along with: system, order, and organization
Organization includes different types and levels. Types include periodic table of elements, classification of organisms... Levels include matter - fundamental particles, atoms, molecules, and organism - cells, tissues, organs. organisms, populations, communities. Levels can change according to needs and interactions between the levels occur. Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts along with: system, order, and organization
Predict Make a specific forecast of future properties or interactions based on past experiences, observations, or organizational schemes ( chaos, systems, cycles, models).
Property Characteristics of objects. May be directly or indirectly observable. Properties could includecolor, shape, size, pattern, living-nonliving, sequence, behavior, rate, position, motion, scale, weight, mass, volume, density.
Process Skills Actions used to observe, communicate, organize, compare, discover relationships, infer, and apply.
Scientific Literacy is the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decisions making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.
Shapes includetwo and three-dimensional geometric, symmetrical. Relative position is locating all objects in space relative to a reference point.
Spatial relationships Identify shapes, relative position and motion.
System is a unit of investigation, an organized group of related objects or components that form a whole. (organisms, machines, fundamental particles, galaxies, ideas, numbers, transportation, and education. Systems have boundaries, components, resources flow (input and output), and feedback. Considered as a unified science processes or cross cutting concepts along with: Systems, Order, and Organization
Technology tools used to make modifications to the world to meet human needs.
Theory a comprehensive thoughtful and enduring explanation of some aspect of the physical and natural world that can be supported by evidence.
Variables a property or condition that can change.