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Fourth Grade Science


Energy Study Guide Fourth Grade

Thermal energy – the energy that makes particles of matter move.

Heat – the flow of thermal energy from one object to another. Heat always moves from warmer objects to cooler objects.

Temperature – measures the average energy of the particles in a substance.

Conduction – transfer of heat that occurs between two objects that are touching.

Convection – transfer of heat through liquids or gases.

Radiation – transfer of heat through space.

Insulators – materials that do not transfer heat very well.

Conductors – materials that transfer heat easily.

Vibration – back and forth motion.

Sound Wave – an area of crowded particles followed by widely spaced particles; move out in all directions from the source of a vibration and carries energy away.

Echo – a reflected sound.

Sound travels slowest in a gas, such as air, and fastest through a solid.

Wavelength – the distance from the peak of one wave to the peak of the next.

Frequency – the number of vibrations a sound makes in a given amount of time.

Pitch – the highness or lowness of a sound.

High sounds have high frequencies and vibrate more quickly.

Low sounds have low frequencies and vibrate more slowly.

Amplitude – the amount of energy in a sound wave.

Volume – loudness.

SONAR (SOund Navigation And Ranging) – a technology that uses sound waves to detect underwater objects by sending out sounds and receiving the echoes.

Light – a form of energy we detect with our eyes; always travels in a straight line.

Prism – an object that separates white light into bands of colored light.

Visible spectrum – all the colors we can see. (ROY G BIV – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)

Electromagnetic spectrum – the range of waves that make up light.

Refraction – the bending of light as it passes from one material to another; occurs when light goes through glass, water, or clear plastic, and when light moves from cold air to warm air.

Reflection – when a light wave hits a surface and bounces off.

Most light that reaches your eyes is reflected light.

Transparent – material that allows light to pass through.

Translucent – material that scatters light in all different directions making them hard to see through clearly.

Opaque – materials that block light completely.

Electrical charges: A positive charge and a negative charge attract, or pull, each other. Like charges repel, or push away, each other. Positive repels positive. Negative repels negative.

Static electricity – the buildup of electrical charges on an object; does not have moving charges.

Current electricity – the flow of electrical charges through a circuit.

Circuit – the path along which electric current flows.

Closed circuit – a complete, unbroken circuit; electricity is flowing.

Open circuit – a circuit with gaps; electricity is not flowing.

Series circuit – circuit where electric current flows in the same direction along a single path.

Parallel circuit – circuit where electric current flows through more than one path.

Magnet – something that can attract iron, nickel, and cobalt.

All magnets have two poles (north and south poles); opposites attract and like poles repel each other.Attraction is strongest when the magnets are closest together and gets weaker with distance.

Be able to distinguish between a sound wave with high frequency/high pitch and low frequency/low pitch

Be able to label the wavelength, amplitude, crest, and trough of a sound wave.