Primary General Science Glossary

This is a general primary science glossary. For class specific glossaries please go to the specific subjects

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Picture of Joseph Wainaina

Joseph Wainaina

Binary code

Electronic data used in computers. The circuit is either on or off and is represented with either a 1 or 0. The system uses the digits 0 and 1 to represent a letter, numeral or other character in a computer.

Binaural hearing

The perception of sound by stimulation of two ears affecting a listener’s ability to identify the location or origin of a detected sound in direction and distance.


A ‘biosphere’, also called an ‘ecospheres’, is a mostly closed ecosystem of a specific size that contains a mix of plants and animals that is completely self-sufficient.

Block and tackle

A block and tackle is a compound pulley where several pulleys are mounted on each axle, further increasing the mechanical advantage.


The ability of water to support weight allowing an object to float.


An electrical mechanism that produces an intermittent current and an audible buzzing sound, or series of sounds, when electrical current flows through it.

Café Wall Illusion

This optical illusion was first observed and described by Doctor Richard Gregory when he noticed the curious effect in the tiles of the wall of a café in Bristol. This optical illusion makes the parallel straight horizontal lines appear to be bent. This illusion consists of alternating light and dark ‘bricks’ that are laid in staggered rows.


A mineral salt that strengthens the bones.

Calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is a common substance found in rock in all parts of the world, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms like snails, pearls, seashells and corals. Saltwater reef tank keepers have to dose or supplement this compound in order for corals to grow. Corals need calcium carbonate to grow.


It is often called the ‘art of fancy lettering’ by means of an ink pen. This style of writing is described as a script and is often used for wedding invitations etc.

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