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Many high school students struggle with the depth and breadth of high school science courses. One way to relieve these stresses and learn to understand even the most intricate science concepts is by mastering the science vocabulary that expresses them. A basic understanding of each word’s definition will give students confidence to use these words and inquire about their linkages and applications.

Students who study and review the science terminology and vocabulary used in high school science lessons are better equipped to achieve understanding of the concepts. The seven categories are available through “Summary Lists” in the following categories: Biology, Ecology, Integrated Science, Chemistry, Physics, Space Science, and Earth Science. The comprehensive lists are designed to complement a common high school science curriculum.

High School Science Lists

Summary Word Lists

7 lists

Integrated Science

9 lists


30 lists


20 lists


8 lists

Earth Science

13 lists

Space Science

5 lists


39 lists

High School Science Summary Lists
Integrated Science
Earth Science
Space Science
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Using alternate means of study, such as high school science word games, can make a big difference. At VocabularySpellingCity, students can play such games, verify pronunciation of complex science vocabulary, and assess their comprehension through online testing. These activities provide a comprehension that will allow students to apply the words to real world applications. Students can give their science dictionaries a rest and learn high school vocabulary words in a refreshing new way. Whether they are studying chemistry, physics, or biology, they can choose from many targeted lists in summary or in-depth form. That’s right, students can study high school science words and have fun too!

Return to Science Vocabulary Overview.

High School Science Vocabulary
Words at a Glance

High School Integrated Science

Energy: electromagnet, electromagnetic waves, first law of thermodynamics, heat of fusion, hydroelectricity, kinetic energy, nuclear fission, radiation, second law of thermodynamics

Life Science: biosphere, dynamic equilibrium, ecological succession, ecology, energy pyramid, global warming, nonrenewable resource, population growth curve, renewable resource, trophic level

Matter: atomic number, chemical bond, compound, covalent bond, electron, indicator, mass number, pH, rate of reaction, catalyst, aqueous, base, acid, chemical equation, concentration, density, element, ionic bond, molecule. physical property, atom, chemical property, conservation of mass, diffraction, half-life, isotope, neutron, permeability, proton, solubility

Motion: acceleration, centripetal force, circuit, force, gravity, insulator, magnetism, momentum, power, vector, centrifugal force, conductors, current, friction, inertia, machine, mechanical advantage, speed, velocity

Scientific Inquiry: accuracy, control, digital microscope, genetic engineering, hypothesis, Kelvin, model, society, theory, variable, bias, dependent variable, electron microscope, GPS, independent variable, law, precision, technology, vaccine, pathogen

High School Ecology

Biogeochemical Cycles: carbon cycle, photosynthesis, nitrogen cycle, permafrost, phosphorus cycle, recharge zone, reservoir, salinity, water cycle, watershed, biotic, abiotic ,acid precipitation ,age structure, fossil fuels, groundwater, pH, precipitation, subsidence, topsoil, cellular respiration, biosphere, eutrophication, freshwater, lithosphere, ozone hole, ozone layer, stratosphere, surface water, troposphere

Earth: aesthenosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, erosion, mineral, ozone layer, precipitation, river system, tectonic plate, water cycle, barrier island, climate, desertification, freshwater, lithosphere, ore, permeability, stratosphere, topsoil, watershed, aquifer, benthic zone, coral reef, ecosystem, geosphere, mantle, porosity, recharge zone, surface water, troposphere

Ecosystems: desert, estuary, mangrove swamp, river system, savannah, taiga, temperate deciduous forest, tropical rain forest, tundra, habitat, biomass, canopy, climax community, primary succession, secondary succession, understory, chaparral, salt marsh, temperate grassland, temperate rain forest, benthic zone, biodiversity, biome, climate, community, littoral zone, niche, wetland, ecosystem, benthos

Energy: nuclear energy, biomass fuel, hydroelectric energy, geothermal energy, alternative energy, ocean thermal energy, conversion, fuel cell, energy efficiency, energy conservation

Environmental Science: environmental science, greenhouse effect, endemic species, threatened species, endangered species, pioneer species, keystone species, global warming, greenhouse gases

Human Impact: agriculture, aquaculture, arable land, domesticated, groundwater, livestock, pesticide, heat island, rural, overgrazing, environmental science, artificial selection, ecotourism, exotic species, global warming, overharvesting, poaching, urban sprawl, urban, cultural eutrophication, petroleum, risk assessment, smog, undeveloped country, urbanization, economics, developed country

Natural Resource Management: artificial eutrophication, fossil fuels, freshwater, reservoir, deep well injection, natural resource, reclamation, smelting, sustainability, greenhouse effect, deforestation, desertification, oil reserve, potable, recycling, reforestation, subsurface mining, surface mining, biodegradable, compost

Natural Selection: species, adaptation, evolution, gene, migration, natural selection, resistance, risk assessment, survivorship

Population Ecology: competition, population, adaptation, keystone species, carrying capacity, demographic transition, demography, ecological succession, ecology, growth rate, fertility rate, predation, migration, survivorship, dispersion, epidemiology, exotic species, exponential growth, life expectancy, reproductive potential

Scientific Inquiry: distribution, experimental group, genetic engineering, global positioning system, hypothesis, land use planning, model, sample, variable, yield, control group, data, ecological footprint, environmental impact statement, geographic information system, GPS, irrigation, law of supply and demand, observation, vector, correlation, desalination, endangered species act, experiment, GIS, habitat conservation plan, kyoto protocol, lobbying prediction, value

Species: angiosperm, endemic species, epiphyte, gymnosperm, invertebrate, organism, pathogen, plankton, species, vertebrate, bacteria, endangered species, fungus, nekton, nitrogen fixing bacteria, protist, threatened species

The Climate/Weather: precipitation, water cycle, climate, condensation, conduction, convection, evaporation, latitude, ozone hole, el nino, la nina, temperature inversion, hurricane, altitude, storm surge, ozone layer

Trophic Interactions: cellular respiration, photosynthesis, pathogen, biomagnification, food chain, host, parasitism, population, symbiosis, trophic level, biomass, commensalism, competition, consumer, decomposer, food web, mutualism,predation, producer

Waste Management: acid precipitation, greenhouse gases, acid shock, CFCs, hazardous waste, non-point source pollution, point source pollution, solid waste, water pollution, toxicology, eutrophication, land fill, leachate, municipal solid waste, pollution, primary pollutant, secondary pollutant, thermal pollution, waste water, air pollution

High School Chemistry

Chemical Properties/pH: buffer, indicator, acid, base, catalyst, chemical property, neutralization, pH, combustion

Chemical Reactions & Principals: balanced equation, law of conservation of mass, law of constant composition, principle of constant proportions, STP, thermodynamics, first law of thermodynamics

Chemical Reactions: Chemical bonds, chemical equation, direct combination, product, reactant, specific heat, stoichiometry, chemical reaction, coefficient, subscript

Compounds: anion, cation, chemical formula, electron affinity, empirical formula, inorganic compound, polar molecule, compound, molecular compound, monatomic ion, covalent bond, gram formula mass, hydrate, ion, ionic compound, molecular formula, molecule, oxidize, polyatomic ion, structural formula

Electronegativity & Radioactivity: anhydrous, polarity, electronegativity, nonpolar, polar, radioactive decay, radioactivity, radioisotope, half-life, dipole

Energy: atmospheric pressure, catalyst, electromagnetic radiation, enthalpy, gas laws, ionization energy, kinetic molecular theory, nuclear fission, partial pressure, equilibrium, combustion reaction, endothermic, excited state, ground state, joule, law of conservation of energy, nuclear fusion, photoelectric effect, synthesis reaction, voltage, energy, entropy, exothermic, ideal gas, Kelvin , melting, nuclear reaction, specific heat, thermochemistry, calorimetry

Motion: condensation, covalent bond, decomposition reaction, diffusion, dipole, dipole interaction, dispersion force, double displacement reaction, hydrogen bond, ionic bond, metallic bond, polar covalent bond, single covalent bond, single displacement reaction, triple covalent bond, van der walls force, kinetic theory, lattice, polar, nonpolar

Periodic Table: chemical symbol, element, group, mass number, period, periodic law, periodic table, periodic trend, family, chemistry, metalloid, halogen, noble gas, nonmetal, alkaline earth metal, oxidation number, semi-metal, transition metal, valence electron, alkali metal

Physical Properties of Matter: absolute zero, boiling point, distillation, freezing point, heat capacity, Kelvin, physical property, resistance, vaporization, volume, diffraction, phase, plasma, buoyancy, density, deposition, gravitational potential, molar mass, molar volume, refraction

Scientific Inquiry: actual yield, dimensional analysis, expected yield, gram, liter, meter, metric system, percent yield, SI unit, significant digit

Solutions: aqueous, heterogeneous, homogeneous, solubility, solute, solution, solvent, suspension, composition, colloid, immiscible, miscible, mixture, precipitate, hypertonic, hypotonic, cohesion, isotonic, insoluble, soluble

The Atom - Atomic Theory: atom, atomic mass, atomic number, atomic radius, atomic theory, Avogadro's number, mole, principal energy level

The Atom - Subatomic Particles: electron, neutron, nucleus, octet rule, orbital, proton, electron cloud, valence electron, subatomic, electron configuration

High School Physics

Matter: alpha particle, conductor, diffraction, electrical current, electrical potential, isotope, magnetic, radioactive decay, temperature, visible light, beta particle, conservation of mass, displacement, electrical field, half-life, light, magnetic field, quantized, ultraviolet, x-ray

Mechanics: capacitor, efficiency, fulcrum, inclined plane, lever, machine, mechanical advantage, mirrors, power, pulley

Newton's Laws List: acceleration, action-reaction pair, chain reaction, force, Newton's first law, Newton's second law, Newton's third law, velocity

Objects in Movement: acceleration, centrifugal, centripetal force, friction, inertia, velocity, momentum, rarefaction, drag, gravitational force, compression, pressure, projectile motion, rolling friction , density, eddies, force

Scientific Inquiry: accuracy, dependent variable, independent variable, investigation, precision, scalar, scientific method, spectroscope, variable, experiment

Sound & Light Waves: decibel, reflection, refraction, resonance, crest, frequency, amplitude, wavelength, trough

High School Earth Science

Energy: elasticity, entropy, mechanical energy, convection, kinetic energy, heat of vaporization, magnitude, nuclear energy, potential energy, renewable resources, electromagnetic waves, endothermic reaction, conduction, fossil fuel, heat of fusion, laws of thermodynamics, magnetic energy, nonrenewable resources, radiant energy, exothermic reaction

Geologic History: glaciers , half-life, radioactive decay , absolute time, big bang theory , paleoclimate , paleomagnetism , pangaea, relative dating, relative time

Geosphere: biosphere, fossil record, hydrosphere, lithosphere, asthenosphere, topography, geosphere, inner core, outer core, core, crust, magma, mantle, aquifer, sinkhole, atoll

Matter: atomic mass, catalyst, chemical bond, chemical change, density, electron configuration, isotope, molecule, radiation, universal solvent

Motion: acceleration, equilibrium, deceleration, force, friction, inertia, momentum, refraction, torque, velocity

Ocean: continental shelf, hydrologic cycle, mid-ocean ridge, sea floor spreading, oceanic crust, gyre, mid oceanic ridge, thermocline, ocean current, bathyal zone, epipelagic zone, longshore current, neap tides, spring tides, contour currents

Plate Tectonics: plate tectonics, rift valley, crust, mid-ocean ridge, continental drift, convergent, divergent, plate boundaries , fault, tsunami, hotspots, sea floor spreading, epicenter, active coast, convergent boundary, divergent boundary, passive coast

Processes: hydrologic cycle, acid rain, atmospheric cycle, global warming, gravitational effects, rock cycle, uniformitarianism, weathering, geochemical cycle, greenhouse effect, convection currents, contour currents, climate, erosion, glaciers, ozone depletion, groin

Rocks & Minerals: cleavage, fracture, half-life, igneous rock, metamorphic rock, mohs scale, radioactive decay, sedimentary rock, superposition

Scientific Inquiry: control group, dependent variable, hypothesis, experimental group, independent variable, qualitative data, quantitative data, research question, scientific method, variable

High School Space Science

The Planet Earth: asteroid, astronomy, carbon cycle, constellation, equinox, gravitational force, meteor impact, ozone, satellite, star cycle, astronomical distance, oscillating theory, eclipse, solar system, comet, moon phases, galaxy, pulsating theory, big bang theory, lunar phases

Marine Science: lunar cycle, zeitgeber, neap tide, tides, semidiurnal tide, spring tide, satellite, phototaxis, GIS, diurnal tide

Scientific Inquiry: asteroids, big bang theory, constellation, eclipse, galaxy, meteoroid, oscillating theory, pulsating theory, rotation, solstice, solar mass, astronomical unit, planets, light year, crescent, revolution, equinox, comet, ampere, moon phase

High School Biology

Anatomy: bone marrow, joint, ligament, tendon, gastrovascular cavity, brain, hypothalamus, nerve, neurons, endocrine system, brain stem, cerebellum, cerebrum, dendrites, motor neuron, reflex, sensory neuron, spinal cord, synapse, thalamus, alveolus, capillary, cardiovascular, diaphragm, endocrine gland, heart, muscle tissue, placenta, valve, lungs

Body Plan: asymmetrical, bilateral symmetry, body cavity, body plan, cell, organ, organ system, tissue, curve, nervous system

Body Systems: central nervous system, circulatory system , closed circulatory system, muscular system, open circulatory system, reproductive system, nervous tissue, peripheral nervous system, connective tissue, lymph

Cell Biology: cytoskeleton, vesicle, lysosome, ribosome, cellular respiration, exocytosis, flagellum, meiosis, mitosis, multicellular

Cell Biology - Membranes: concentration gradient, diffusion, hypertonic, hypotonic, isotonic, neurotransmitter, osmosis, passive transport, receptor, receptor protein, active site, resting potential, sodium-potassium pump, target cell, membrane potential

Cell Biology - Parts of the Cell: vacuole, cell membrane, chromosome, cilium, endoplasmic reticulum, golgi apparatus, mitochondrion, nucleus, organelle, cytoplasm

Cell Biology - Plant Cells: cell wall, chloroplast, chlorophyll, photosynthesis, vacuole, biology, pigment, cell

Cell Biology - Proteins: protein, protein synthesis, ribosome, exocytosis, mitochondrion, amino acid, ATP, enzyme, transcription, translation, ribosomal RNA, RNA, RNA polymerase, transfer RNA, messenger RNA, mitochondrial DNA

Earth: pangea, plate, tectonics, fossil record, gradualism, isolation, paleontology, divergence, coevolution, nutrient cycle

Ecology: abiotic, biodiversity, ecological succession, ecology, nitrogen cycle, transpiration, biotic, competition, biome, population model, aggregation, behavior, population density, biological sucession, colonial organism, dispersion, dynamic equilibrium, exponential growth, homeostasis, pioneer species, carrying capacity, population, nitrogen fixation, population growth curve , population size, adaptation, logistic model, niche, primary succession, secondary succession

Ecology - Trophic Levels: autotroph, energy pyramid, food web, heterotroph, parasitism, predation, trophic level, mutualism, primary consumer, secondary consumer, symbiosis, biomass, food chain, herbivore, omnivore, parasite, predator, competition, producer, commensalism

Embryology: blastula, ectoderm, endoderm, fertilization, gestation period. meiosis, mesoderm, mitosis, reproduction, gamete, zygote, differentiation, external fertilization, hermaphrodite, homologous structures, internal fertilization, ovum, placenta, reproductive system, sexual reproduction

Environmental Hazards: acid rain, biological magnification, CFC, factor, fossil fuel, greenhouse effect, nonrenewable,renewable resource, CO2, sulfuric acid

Environmental Science: coal, aquifer, biogeochemical cycles, climate, global warming, greenhouse gas, ozone, resource, substrate, smog

Evolution: analogous structures, competition, convergent , directional selection, divergent, evolution, gene, genetic drift, nonrandom mating, speciation, Charles Darwin, competitive exclusion, convergent evolution, differentiation, divergent evolution, gene flow, natural selection, sexual selection, stabilizing selection, reproductive behavior

Genetics - DNA: autosome, sex chromosome, DNA, DNA polymerase, DNA replication, allele, genetic diversity, gene, RNA, nucleic acid, nucleotide, complementary base pair, crossing-over, codon, base-pairing rules, deoxyribose, homologous chromosome, cloning , genome, double helix, clone, genetic code, karyotype, homologous

Genetics: autosome, sex chromosome, DNA, DNA polymerase, DNA replication, allele, genetic diversity, gene, RNA, nucleic acid, nucleotide, complementary base pair, crossing-over, codon, base-pairing rules, deoxyribose, homologous chromosome, cloning , genome, double helix, clone, genetic code, karyotype, homologous

Matter: acid, atom, base, catalyst, compound, covalent bond, ion, ionic bond, element, solution

Energy: cellular respiration, ATP, mitochondria, photosynthesis, glycolysis, glucose, metabolism, chlorophyll, Krebs cycle, electron transport chain

Microbiology: aerobic, anaerobic, binary fission, asexual reproduction, eukaryote, exponential growth, fermentation, plankton, prokaryote, protist

Physiology: carbohydrates, catalyst, enzyme, glycolysis, hormone, lipid, metabolism, protein, respiration, Physiology

Scientific Inquiry: dependent variable, electron microscope, genetic engineering, independent variable, plasmid, recombinant DNA, scanning tunneling microscope, transformation, vector, pathogen, cell theory, electrophoresis, human genome project, light microscope, observation, prediction, resolution, scientific method, transgenic animal, virulent, control group, DNA, gene cloning, hypothesis, magnification, pH, probe, restriction enzyme, theory, vaccine

Taxonomy: analogous, binomial nomenclature, biodiversity, ectothermic, taxonomy, exoskeleton, hydrostatic skeleton, invertebrate, vertebrate, analogous structures, class, family, genus, Linnean taxonomy, order, phylum, species, subspecies

For a complete online Science curriculum in First Grade Science, Second Grade Science, Third Grade Science, Fourth Grade Science, Fifth Grade Science, Sixth Grade Science, or Seventh Grade Science visit Time4Learning.com.

Educational Science Games

Here are some fun Science Games from LearningGamesForKids by category: Science Songs, Science Videos, Science Experiment Videos, Space Games, Weather Games, or Science Experiment Games.

For more kindergarten learning resources, kindergarten math vocabulary words, kindergarten homeschool curriculum, free kindergarten vocabulary games, free science games, and a school science curriculum.

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