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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Any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks. Also, a device that has parts to perform or assist in performing any type of work.


A magnet is an object that has a magnetic field (an invisible pattern of magnetism). A magnet attracts or repels other items.

Magnetic field

A condition in the space around a magnet or electric current in which there is a detectable magnetic force and two magnetic poles are present.

Magnetic force

Magnetic force is an invisible force created by electrons. Magnetic force controls magnetism and electricity.

Magnetic North

North according to the Earth’s magnetic poles rather than its geographic poles. Declination from true north is given in miles where one mile equals 1/6,400 of 360 degrees.


Magnetism is a force caused by the electrons in the atoms that make up everything around us.


A measurable increase in the apparent size of an object. This enlargement is quantified by a calculated number also called ‘magnification’. Magnification is the ratio between the apparent size and the true size of the viewed object behind the lens or other magnifier.

Male ants

Male ants do not work and live only a few weeks or months. The only purpose of the male ant is to mate with the queens and they die shortly thereafter.


A white crystalline sugar formed during the digestion of starches.


Earth’s mantle is a rocky shell about 2,890 km thick that constitutes about 84 percent of Earth’s volume. It is predominantly solid and encloses the iron-rich hot core, which occupies about 15 percent of Earth’s volume.

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