The gradual process of matter being pulled together by gravity to make larger and larger clumps of matter.
A special skill or physical feature which helps a species to survive and thrive in its environment. For example, a chameleon changing colour to camouflage itself.
A view of something from the sky looking down.
Also referred to as farming, agriculture is the practice of growing crops and raising animals. It is an innovation which has allowed human societies to expand and thrive.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a type of technology which can perceive things, interpret them and make decisions in a similar way to humans.
Animals that evolved from fish to have gills so that they can live in water and also live and breathe on land.
A scientist who studies humans and human behaviour.
Rocky bodies which are too small to be called planets.
A scientist who studies the Universe and everything in it.
A thin layer of gases, otherwise known as air, that surrounds Earth and other planets.
Tiny particles which make up everything in the Universe.
Someone who knows a lot about a subject and whose views are respected.
A large battery that stores electrical energy which can then be used when other energy sources are not available.
Big Bang theory
Theory about how the Universe began 13.8 billion years ago. All matter, time, space and energy came from the Big Bang.
The history of the entire Universe beginning 13.8 billion years ago.
A scientist who studies the chemistry of living things.
A scientist who studies living things.
An area in space where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape from it – not even light.
A creative strategy for thinking about and sharing ideas to solve a challenge or task.
Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR) is the radiation left over from the initial energy of the Big Bang. It can be seen through powerful space telescopes.
Chemical elements which have combined with different chemical elements. For example, hydrogen can combine with oxygen to create the chemical compound water (H2O).
Pure substances which are made from a single type of atom. For example, Helium.
A scientist who studies the substances that make up all the matter in the Universe.
Information which is presented as fact – not an opinion.
To do with mental activity such as thinking, using logic or remembering.
The human ability to store and share and build on information from generation to generation.
Balls of frozen gases, rock and dust which orbit the Sun.
A group of people who live together. They help each other and work together to solve problems.
To look at what two or more things have in common with each other.
continental drift theory
A theory which states that the Earth’s continents were once joined together in one supercontinent, then broke up and slowly drifted apart.
To look at how two or more things are different to each other.
Where two tectonic plates move towards each other.
A scientist who studies the structure and history of the Universe.
Thinking of new ways to solve problems, generate new explanations and/or create something original.
Thinking which doesn’t rely on simply accepting what someone has said. It involves questioning, using logic and seeking information from experts before drawing a conclusion.
A view of something as if it has been sliced through with a knife.
A term which covers electronic technologies such as computers, tablets and mobile phones.
Different areas of knowledge, for example, natural sciences.
Where two tectonic plates slide apart from each other.
At its centre, Earth contains a solid inner core and a liquid outer core made of iron and nickel.
The layer that floats on top of the mantle and is made of lighter weight rocks and minerals.
Technologies which use electricity as their main power source, for example, light bulbs, electric motors and television.
A resource which can be used to provide power. For example, fossil fuels like coal and oil; renewable resources like solar and wind or uranium for nuclear power.
An expert who designs and builds machines and structures.
Information which may support or disprove a claim.
The theory of evolution explains how all the species alive today generated from the first simple life forms on Earth.
Planets which orbit stars outside of our solar system.
A person with a special skill or knowledge in a particular area.
A path followed by a spacecraft which has been sent close enough to a planet to record scientific data.
A carbon- based material such as coal, oil, or natural gas that can be used as an energy source. Fossil fuels were originally formed when the remains of living organisms were buried and broken down by intense heat and pressure over millions of years.
The four large outermost planets – Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter – which are mostly made of lighter chemical elements like Hydrogen and Helium.
A scientist who analyses rocks, minerals and landforms.
The ‘just right’ conditions for life to exist. For example, Earth has the right temperature range, a protective atmosphere and liquid water.
The energy force which tries to pull two objects toward each other. The bigger an object is, the stronger its gravitational pull.
Modern humans who first appeared 300,000 years ago. We are homo sapiens.
hunters and gatherers
Human societies which move from place to place to hunt meat and gather fruit and vegetables to survive.
Machines which operate on a large scale by using energy sources such as water, steam power, oil and coal.
Using existing knowledge to come up with new technologies or new ways of doing things.
Beings from other planets who are able to think, learn and understand. Scientists continue to search for intelligent life out in the Universe.
A ‘gut feeling’ that a claim may be true or false.
The term Jovian planets refers to the large gassy planets furthest from the Sun - Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter. They are also known as gas giants.
An imaginary line 100 kms above the Earth’s crust where it has been internationally agreed the Earth’s atmosphere ends and space begins.
A visible framework which uses a series of step-by-step questions to provide guidance through the creative thinking process.
A spacecraft which has been designed to make a soft landing on a planet or moon etc.
Carefully thinking about a claim to decide whether it makes sense.
The layer that surrounds the Earth’s core and is made of minerals and rocks which slowly flow in a sludge of melted iron.
Everything around us that has weight and takes up space. All matter is made up of atoms.
Otherwise known as shooting stars, meteoroids are small space rocks which burn up as they enter Earth’s atmosphere.
A self-contained unit which can be joined together with other units to build something more complex.
A species which lives on more than one planet. Humans could become the first known multi-planetary species by establishing a human habitat on Mars.
A complex organism which is made up of more than one cell. For example, animals and plants.
The process by which individuals in a species who have more successful adaptations have more children, therefore passing their successful adaptations on to future generations.
The process of hydrogen atoms being crushed together in a star’s hot centre, releasing heat and energy for billions of years.
A spacecraft designed to orbit a planet and collect scientific data over a long period of time.
When a population grows too big for the available resources, for example, food. Humans have, in the past, solved potential problems through innovations such as agriculture.
An invisible layer in Earth’s upper atmosphere which helps to protect us from the Sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays.
A diagram of all the chemical elements in the Universe. It was created by a Russian chemist named Dmitri Mendeleev.
Quasi Stellar Objects (Quasars) are believed to be the brightest and most distant objects in the Universe.
The transfer of energy (heat, sound or light) through waves. It can come from cosmic rays or from the Earth. Too much exposure to radiation is harmful to humans.
When a star or galaxy moves away, its light waves are stretched out and it has a red glow. This is called redshift and provides evidence that the Universe is expanding.
A type of technology which allows machines to be programmed to move and complete set tasks.
The four small inner planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars – which are mostly made of heavier chemical elements like iron.
A moving robot which is sent to the surface of another planet to explore, collect scientific data and samples.
Being able to exist for a long time without outside help by using resources responsibly.
A simple organism which is made up of only one cell. For example, simple bacteria.
The extremely small point which contained the ingredients for everything in the Universe. Everything was crushed together in this singularity at the moment of the Big Bang.
The name of a solar day on Mars, which is 24.65 hours.
A massive sphere of very hot gas which makes its own light and energy through nuclear fusion.
The spectacular explosion which occurs when a massive star dies. It blows chemical elements out into the Universe.
To be able to continue to live. For example, having enough food to avoid dying of starvation.
New tools or methods, developed through the use of scientific knowledge, which can be used to solve problems.
The large solid-rock moving pieces which make up the Earth’s crust.
To be able to grow, be successful and become stronger. For example, humans thrive when they are part of a connected community.
A graphic which includes a list of events placed in the order that they happened.
Where two tectonic plates meet and try to move past each other.
A chemical element which is found in the Earth’s crust and is used as an energy source in nuclear power plants.
A visual graphic which can be used to compare and contrast two different things.
When a non-massive star runs out of fuel for nuclear fusion it collapses into itself. The leftover core is a compact star called a white dwarf.
A type of telescope which works by receiving x-ray signals. It is mainly used to observe space objects and events such as the Sun, stars and supernovae.
Location of the Chicxulub Crater where a giant meteor landed 66 million years ago. Scientists think this meteor strike led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
One of the most common chemical elements in the Earth’s crust.