STEM Sports® Glossary

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Acceleration: Change in speed over time.

Accuracy: A quality or circumstance of being correct or precise.

Agronomy: The science of growing and sustaining the life of plants in the healthiest way.

Air Mass: A body of air with uniform temperature, pressure and humidity.

Algorithm: A process or set of rules followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations.

Angle: A figure formed by two rays that have the same endpoint.


Area: The amount of space a flat shape (2D) consumes.

Atmosphere: A state of gas that surrounds the Earth, such as CO2 (carbon dioxide) to produce and sustain plant growth and life.

Average (mean): A measure of center for a set of values.

Balanced Force: Two forces acting in opposite directions on an object, equal in size.

Biosphere: The relatively thin zone that consists of life on or near the Earth’s surface and through its waterways.

Birdie: A golf score that is one stroke under par.

Bogey: A golf score that is one stroke over par.

Bounce Pass: A pass in basketball in which a player holds the ball at chest level with both hands and passes it to a teammate with one bounce hitting the floor or ground in the middle of each player.

Ball Bounce

Chest Pass: A pass in basketball in which a player holds the ball at chest level with both hands and passes it to a teammate without the ball hitting the floor or ground.

Chipping (or Chip Shot): A golf stroke played close to the green that pops the ball briefly into the air, then roles toward the hole.

Chip Shot

Circumference: The length of a line that goes around an object and/or makes a circle or round shape.

Claim, Evidence and Reasoning (CER): A writing technique that supports scientific writing; a Claim answers the question or addresses the prompt; Evidence is used from student’s experiments or research and explanations; Reasoning is a scientific principle, law or concept that connects the claim and evidence.

Climate: Weather trends over time (long term) for a region.

Collision: Two or more bodies exerting force on each other.

Complementary: When the sum of the measure of two angles equals 90 degrees.

90 Degree Angle

Conclusion: To finish or conclude with an explanation, judgement, or opinion through interpretation.

Constraint: A restriction that keeps something from being the best it can be.

Controlled Variables: The aspects or parts of an experiment that need to stay the same for every trial.

Converting: To change from one form to another without changing the value.

Criteria: A set of rules or directions that must be followed.

Dense: A crowding together of parts or compactness of parts.

Dependent Variable: A variable whose merit depends on another.

Driving (or a Drive): A long-distance shot intended to move the ball a great distance down the fairway towards the green. This is sometimes referred to as a “tee shot.”


Eagle: A golf stroke that is two strokes under par.

Energy: The motion of molecules or objects.

Engineering: A system of thinking that uses science and technology to solve problems.

Engineering Design Process (EDP): An organized series of steps that engineers use to develop functional products or processes.

Engineering Design Process

Equal to: A relationship between two quantities, or two mathematical expressions, stating that the amounts have the same value, or that the expressions represent the same mathematical object.

Experiment: A test or investigation to find something out.

Expression: A mathematical sentence using letters, numbers, and operations.

Extra Point or PAT (point after touchdown): In American football, it immediately takes place after a touchdown (six points) whereby the team that scored attempts to kick the ball through the goal post from their opponent’s two-yard line.

Fairway: The closely mowed area between the tee box and putting green of the hole.

Force: Something that causes a change in the motion of an object. Force = mass of object x acceleration

Free Throw Shot: An uncontested shot in basketball by which a player is awarded due to a foul from an opponent. The free throw line is located 15 feet from the backboard.

Free Throw

Front: The interaction between two air masses.

Function: The relationship or expression involving one or more variables.

Geosphere: The rock and dirt where grass grows.

Gravity: A force of attraction inclined to bring particles or bodies together.

Greater than Symbol: A symbol placed between two numbers where the first number is more than the second number.

Handicap: In the sport of golf, it is a measurement of a golfer’s potential used to enable players of different abilities to compete against one another.

Hole-in-One: When a player hits the golf ball from the tee box (tee shot) into the hole in one shot.

Hydrosphere: The water that the soil needs to grow and provide support for living grass and plants.

Hypotenuse: The side of a right-angled triangle that is opposite the right angle.


Hypothesis: A claim that one assumes is true based on observations and background information; supported or not supported by experimental evidence.

Imperial System: A system of measurement originally established in the United Kingdom in 1824. It uses measurements like feet, inches, yard, and pounds.

Independent Variable: A variable that does not depend on another.

Inference: The process of drawing logical conclusions from known facts or circumstances.

Initial Speed: The speed at the beginning, which is often zero.

Innovation: The creation of something new or a modification to an existing product in an attempt to improve it.


Input: The materials or needs to complete a task.

Integer: A positive or negative whole number.

Joint: The connection between bones in the body that link the skeletal system, creating a functional system throughout the body.

Joule: A standard unit of energy or work in the International System of Units (SI).

Kinetic Energy: The energy an object possesses due to its motion.

Less than Symbol: A symbol placed between two numbers where the first number is less than the second number.

Ligament: A strong band of tissue that connects bones with the purpose to support and hold joints in place; thus, protecting organs in the body.

Line of Scrimmage: In American football, an imaginary line parallel to the goal line that separates each team at the beginning of a play.

Line Segment: The part of a line with two endpoints.

Macromolecules: A molecule that contains a large number of atoms, such as protein, polymer, or nucleic acid.

Mass: A fundamental property of matter that is a numerical measure of the inertia (inactive) of an object or the amount of matter an object contains.

Matter: A substance’s physical properties; the consistency or composition of an object.

Metric System: A international system of measurement originally established in France in the 1790’s. Used world-wide with the expectation of the United States, Myanmar and Liberia. It uses measurements like millimeter, meter, kilometer, and gram.

MET (Metabolic Equivalent Task): A measurement of the body’s expenditure of energy.

Microscopic: A object too small to be seen by the naked eye. Example: A “Microscopic Injury” can occur when tendons, ligaments and joints get small tears or bruises over time.

Molecular Motion: An unsystematic movement of molecules inside a substance without any outside influence.

Molecules: A group of two or more atoms connected by electrons in a chemical bond.

Momentum: The product of mass and velocity; a measure that describes an object’s ability to continue in motion.

Neuron Cells: These cells of the nervous system provide communication between the body’s muscles and nervous system.

Newton’s 1st Law: The process in which a body remains either in place or in motion at a constant speed unless altered by an external force.

Newton's First Law

Newton’s 2nd Law: The net force of an object is related to the acceleration and mass: F = MA.

Newton's Second Law

Newton’s 3rd Law: The process in which an action and reaction are equal and opposite.

Newton's 3rd Law

Observation: The process of carefully watching or examining a person or object.

Output: The production or the product of a task.

Overhead Pass: A pass in basketball in which a player holds the ball over their head with both hands and passes it to a teammate.

Par: The number of strokes an expert or professional golfer is expected to score on an individual hole. Par in golf can be a score of 3, 4 or 5 on any individual hole.

Penalty Kick: A free shot at the soccer goal defended only by the goalkeeper, given to an offensive player for specific defensive violation.

Penalty Kick

Photosynthesis: The process that allows plants to get energy from the sun.


Point: An element in geometry that has position but does not extent.

Polygon: A two-dimensional plane-figure bounded by straight lines.

Precision: A quality or circumstance of being exact or accurate.

Probability: The likelihood an event will occur, often demonstrated with a numeric value/ statistic.

Properties: Any traits that can be measured, such as mass, color, density, length, odor, and temperature.

Prototype: The original pattern or model on which something is based or formed.

Putting or Putt: A shot played on the green. The goal of a putt is for the ball to roll into the hole.


Putting Green: The part of the course/hole designed for putting. It should be kept clean at all times for consistent play.


Pythagorean Theorem: A statement about the sides of a right triangle. One of the angles of a right triangle is always equal to 90 degrees. This angle is the right angle.

The theorem written as an equation is a²+b²=c².

Qualitative: Observations and measures that are described with words and qualities.

Quantitative: Observations and measures that are described with measurements or quantities.

Radius: A measure of a circle, half of the diameter.

Range: The difference between the highest and lowest values.

Ray: The part of a line with one endpoint that goes on forever in the opposite direction.

Right Angle: An angle of exactly 90° that corresponds to a quarter turn.

Right Triangle: A triangle with a 90° angle.

Sand Trap: A pit or trench partly filled with sand, generally located near a green, designed to serve as a hazard.

Scientific Method: A scientific process that involves investigation and discovery through a variety of techniques: observation, description, measurement, experimentation, formulation (or modeling), testing and adapting the hypotheses.

Scientific Method

Slope: The steepness of a line; rising or falling of a surface.

Speed: The distance an object travels in a given time.

speed = d (distance) / t (time)

States of Matter :

  • A Solid is a set of atoms or molecules held together (within a constant state) so they maintain a distinct shape and size.
  • A Liquid is a state of matter defined by its condensed make-up and ability to flow.
  • Gas is a state of matter defined by its movable or non-condensed state and/or ability to flow.
States of Matter

Stroke: A golf swing forward with a golf club attempted by a player in an attempt to strike the ball.


Sustainable: The connection of producing a good system for people, profit, and planet.

Synthetic: A material created or made. Not found in nature.

Technology: An object, idea or method used to solve problems or invent new objects, ideas, or methods.


Teeing off: The process of hitting the first shot on each hole of the golf course.

Tendon: A strong but flexible cord or band that connects muscle with a bone.

Three-point Shot: A shot or field goal attempt made from behind a designated line:

  • Middle/intermediate school, high school, and women’s basketball: 19 feet, 9 inches
  • College: 20 feet, 6 inches
  • Professional: 23 feet, 6 inches

Two-point Conversion: In American football, a play that takes place immediately after a touchdown (six points) in which a team can add two points by either running or passing the ball from their opponent’s two-yard line.

Two-point Shot: A shot attempt made in basketball that is inside the 3-point line.

Unbalanced Force: A force that changes the position, speed, or direction of the object to which it is applied.

Unsustainable: The disruption of environmental balance by depleting natural resources.

Variable: The aspect(s) of an experiment that are measured (dependent), changed (independent) or kept the same (control).

Velocity: The rate of change of position with respect to time.

velocity = s (displacement) / t (time)


Venn Diagram: A diagram that logically demonstrates relationships of similarities and differences of a given entity or entities.

Venn Diagram

Water Hazard: A lake, pond, river, stream, bay, sea, ocean, or an open body of water on the course to make play difficult for golfers, which can also include ditches or trenches for drainage.

Water Hazard

Weather: Short term changes in temperature, precipitation, humidity, and pressure.