My Classroom Website

smileyMrs. Richmond's Science Classsmiley

RMS Science Teacher 12 Years

University of Arkansas BS. Animal Scinece

Lee University MAT

Tennessee Tech. Eds Administration

Welocme to Mrs. Richmond's Science Class. Seventh grade science is all about Life Science/Biology. We will begin with Cells and work our way to Biomes and the interaction of living things. On this site you; the student, will be able to find vocabulary terms and definitions, homework assignments, test dates, project outlines, useful websites, videos and study aids. 

Syllabus for 2012-2013  Materials needed for science class - 1 inch three ring binder, pencil pouch with pencils, colored pencils, highlighter, shapie, 3 by 5 cards, erasers, composition notebook or 70 page spiral notebook.       Materials must be with students in class each day.

Vocabulary terms and definitions will be given on Monday's and tests will be every two weeks on Friday's. Homework, pop quizes, tests, projects, reports etc. will be given in advance along with their expected due dates. Grades will be earned and put into infinite campus as quickly as possible (often the day given). Any student who does not turn in work on time will have ONE WEEK to turn in late work for a partial grade. After the week grace period a grade of zero will remain. To keep up with vocabulary and science topics students will need to impliment daily review at home(re-write notes, re-create drawings, study vocabulary, practice science concepts). So, parents please make a study area and insist that your child works each day to keep up for science class.

Vocabulary is a major part of this years studies. Please focus on your terms and definitions and as they say..."practice makes perfect' so be prepared to use your new vocabulary each day in class. 

Terms and definitions from seventh grade science standards.These will be the base terms used throughout the year. 

S7L1.  Students will investigate the diversity of living organisms and how they can be compared scientifically.

Cellular Organization – all cells are divided into two types: prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.  You are made up of eukaryotic cells!

Taxonomy – the science of describing, naming and classifying organisms.  The taxonomic ranks are: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.

Dichotomous Key – an aid used to identify organisms and that consists of the answers to a series of questions.

Classification – the division of organisms into groups or classes, based on specific characteristics.

Domain – there are three domains in the classification system.  Domains represent the largest differences between organisms.  The three domains are: Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya.

Animalia – a kingdom made up of complex multicellular organisms that lack cell walls, can usually move around, and quickly respond to their environment.

Plantae – a kingdom made up of complex multicellular organisms that are usually green, have cell walls made of cellulose, cannot move around, and use the sun’s energy to make sugar by photosynthesis.

Fungi – a kingdom made up of nongreen eukaryotic organisms that have no means of movement, reproduce using spores, and get food by breaking down substances in their surroundings and absorbing nutrients.

Eukarya – in a modern taxonomic system, a domain made up of all eukaryotes; this domain aligns with the traditional kingdoms Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia.

Archaea – in a modern taxonomic system, a domain made up of prokaryotes that differ from other prokaryotes in the makeup of their cell walls and in there genetics; this domain aligns with the traditional kingdom Archaeabacteria.

Heterotroph – an organism that gets food by eating other organisms or their byproducts and that cannot make organic compounds from inorganic materials.

Autotroph – or producer is an organism that produces complex organic compounds (such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins) from simple inorganic molecules using energy from light (photosynthesis).  They are the producers in the food chain.

Unicellular – organisms that have one cell.

Multicellular – organisms that consist of more than one cell.  Most of life that can be seen with the naked eye is multicellular.

Food – a form of nourishment that is consumed.  Food is the essential source of nutrient ingested or assimilated by an organism to sustain life.

Cellular Respiration – the process by which cells use oxygen to produce energy from food.

Oxygen – is the 3rd most abundant element in the universe.  Oxygen is required by most living organisms.

Photosynthesis – the process by which some plants, algae, and some bacteria use sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to make food.

S7L2.  Students will describe the structure and function of calls, tissues, organs, and organ systems.

Cell – the smallest functional and structural unit of all living organisms; usually consists of a nucleus, cytoplasm, and a membrane.

Cytoplasm – is present in all cells.  Inside the cell is a fluid.  This fluid and almost all of its contents are called cytoplasm.  Organelles are part of the cytoplasm.

Organelles – small bodies in a cell’s cytoplasm that are specialized to perform a specific function.

Cell Membrane – a phospholipid layer that covers a cell’s surface and acts as a barrier between the inside of a cell and the cell’s environment.

Nucleus – in a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-bound organelle that contains the cell’s DNA and that has a role in processes such as growth, metabolism, and reproduction.

Chromosome – in a eukaryotic cell, one of the structures in the nucleus that are made up of DNA and protein; in a prokaryotic cell, the main ring of DNA.

Prokaryote – a single-celled organism that does not have a nucleus or membrane-bound organelles; examples are archaea and bacteria.

Eukaryote – an organism made up of cells that have a nucleus enclosed by a membrane; eukaryotes include protists, animals, plants, and fungi.

Chloroplasts – plants and algae have chloroplasts.  Chloroplasts are organelles in which photosynthesis takes place.

Photosynthesis – the process by which plants, algae, and some bacteria use sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to make food.

Mitochondria – the main power source of the cell.  A mitochondrion is the organelle in which sugar is broken down to produce energy.  Most eukaryotic cells have mitochondria.

Vacuole - is an organelle.  They store digestive enzymes and aid in digestion within the cell.  Plant cells have large vacuoles that store water and help support the cell.

Diffusion – the movement of particles from regions of higher density to regions of lower density.

Osmosis – the diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane.

Active Transport – the movement of substances across the cell membrane that requires the cell to use energy.

Passive Transport – the movement of substances across a cell membrane without the use of energy by the cell.

Endocytosis – the process by which a cell membrane surrounds a particle and encloses the particle in a vesicle to bring the particle into the cell.

Exocytosis – the process in which a cell releases a particle by enclosing it in a vesicle that then moves to the cell’s surface and fuses with the cell membrane.

Waste – cellular waste products are formed as a byproduct of cellular respiration, a series of processes and reactions that generate energy for the cell.

Respiratory System - your lungs absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

Nervous System – your nervous system receives and sends electrical messages throughout the body.

Digestive System – your digestive system breaks down the food you eat into nutrients that your body can absorb.

Lymphatic System – the lymphatic system returns leaked fluids to blood vessels and helps get rid of bacteria and viruses.

Endocrine System – you glands send out chemical messages.  Ovaries and testes are a part of this system.

Intergumentary System – your skin, hair and nails protect he tissue that lies beneath them.

Muscular System – your muscular system works with the skeletal system to help you move.

Skeletal System – your bones provide a frame to protect and support your body parts.

Cardiovascular System – your heart pumps blood through all of your blood vessels.

Urinary System – your urinary system removes wastes from the blood and regulates your body’s fluids.

Male Reproductive System – produces and delivers sperm.

Female Reproductive System – produces eggs and nourishes and protects the fetus.

S7L3.  Students will recognize how biological traits are passed on to successive generations.

Alleles – are one of the alternate forms of a gene that governs a characteristic such as hair color.

Heterozygous – having dissimilar alleles that code for the same gene or trait.

Homozygous – having two identical alleles that code for the same trait; located at similar positions on paired chromosomes.

Genotype – the entire genetic makeup of an organism; also the combination of genes for one or more specific traits.

Phenotype – an organism’s appearance or other detectable characteristic.

Genes – are one set of instructions for an inherited trait.

Traits – a genetically determined characteristic.

Dominant Traits – are the traits observed in the first generation when parents that have different traits are bred.

Heredity - is the passing of genetic traits from parent to offspring.

Recessive Traits – are the traits that reappear in the second generation after disappearing in the first generation when parents with different traits are bred.

DNA – deoxyribo nucleic acid, a molecule that is present in all living cells and that contains the information that determines the traits that a living thing inherits and needs to live.

Chromosomes – in a eukaryotic ce3ll, one of the structures in the nucleus that are made up of DNA and protein; in a prokaryotic cell, the main ring of DNA.

Asexual Reproduction – reproduction that does not involve the union of sex cells and in which a single parent produces offspring that are genetically identical to the parent.

Sexual Reproduction – reproduction in which the sex cells from two parents unite to produce offspring that share traits from both parents.

Cloning – the process whereby clones are established asexually.  All cells are genetically identical to a single ancestor.

Genetic Cross – the deliberate breeding of two different individuals that result in offspring that carry part of the genetic material of each parent (cross breeding).

True-breeding – a kind of breeding in which the parents with a particular phenotype produce offspring only with the same phenotype.

Variation – the difference or deviation (in structure, form or function) from the recognized norm (mutant).

Punnett Square – is used to organize all the possible combinations of offspring from particular parents.

Pedigree – a diagram that shows the occurrence of a genetic trait in several generations of a family.

Probability – the likelihood that an event will occur in any given instance of an event.

S7L4.  Students will examine the dependence of organisms on one another and on their environment.

Climate – the weather conditions of a region ~ temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and winds throughout the year averaged over a series of years.

Population – a group of organisms of the same species that live in a specific geographical area.

Habitat – an organisms’ habitat is where it lives.

Biome – a large region characterized by a specific type of climate and certain types of plant and animal communities.

Community – all of the populations that live in the same habitat and interact with each other.

Ecosystem – a community of organisms and their abiotic or nonliving environment.

Symbiotic – a relationship in which two different organisms live in close association with each other.

Commensalism – a relationship between two organisms in which one organism benefits and the other remains unaffected.

Mutualism – a relationship between two species in which both species benefit.

Parasitism – a relationship between two species in which one species, the parasite, benefits from the other species, the host, which is harmed.

Energy – is necessary to live, grow and reproduce.  Plants get their energy from the sun.  Animals get energy from food.

Matter – is anything that has mass and takes up space.  The matter in your body has been on Earth since the planet formed billions of years ago.

Predator – an organism that kills and eats all or part of another organism.

Prey – an organism that is killed and eaten by another organism.

Carnivores – are organisms that eat only animals.

Omnivores – are organisms that eat both plants and animals.

Herbivores – are organisms that eat only plants.

Decomposers – are organisms that get energy by breaking down the remains of dead organisms or animal wastes and consuming or absorbing the nutrients.

Food – provides something you can’t live without – energy.

Food Web – a diagram that shows the feeding relationships between organisms in an ecosystem.

Food Chain – the pathway of energy transfer through various stages as a result of the feeding patterns of a series of organisms.


Marine – ecosystems in the ocean.

Freshwater – ecosystems include brooks, rivers, and swamps.  The water comes from melting snow or it may come from and underground spring.

Estuary – an area where fresh water from rivers mixes with salt water from the ocean.

Swamp – a wetland ecosystem in which shrubs and trees grow.

Marsh – a treeless wetland ecosystem where plants such as grasses grow.

Grassland – found on every continent, but Antarctica. They are often flat or have gently rolling hills.

Savannah – a grassland that often has scattered trees and that is found in tropical and subtropical areas where seasonal rains, fires and drought happen.

Desert – an area that has little or no plant life, long periods without rain and extreme temperatures; usually found in hot climates.

Mountain - the rain shadow effect causes one side of the mountain range to receive more rain than the other.

Tundra – a treeless plain found in the arctic, in the Antarctic, or on the tops of mountains that is characterized by very low temperatures and short cool summers.  Permafrost

Forest – biomes are often found in areas that have mild temperatures and plenty of rain.

Deciduous Forests – have trees that shed their leaves during the winter or dry season.

Tropical Rainforest – has more biological diversity than other places on Earth have.  Nutrients are found in the plants rather than the soil.

Coniferous Forests or Taiga – have trees that do not change from summer to winter.  Conifer trees Conifer trees produce seeds in cones.  

S7L5.  Students will examine the evolution of living organisms through inherited characteristics that promote the survival of organisms and the survival of successive generations of their offspring.

Evolution – is the process in which inherited characteristics within a population change over generations such that new species sometimes arise.

Fossils – are the trace remains of an organism that lived long ago.  They are most commonly preserved in sedimentary rock.

Fossil Layer – is a historical sequence of life indicated by fossils found in layers of the Earth’s crust.

Paleontologist – A scientist who uses fossils to reconstruct the history of life before humans existed.

Sedimentary Rock – usually forms when rock is broken into sediment by wind, water and other means.  Over time, layers of sediment pile up.  Lower layers are compressed into rock.

Geologic Time Scale – is the standard method used to divide the Earth’s long natural history into manageable parts.  (Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic)