Can You Pass This Basic Middle School Science Quiz?

By: Ian Fortey
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Can You Pass This Basic Middle School Science Quiz?
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About This Quiz

Hands down, the best part of middle school is lunch, but that's the best part of most days. Somewhere further down the list is science class. Love it or hate it, science is a big part of the middle school experience, and it's where many of us get our first taste of science. It's a place to start learning about the world and everything in it and all the reasons why things happen the way they do. Things like weather or rocks or the sun and the stars, which used to be unknowable forces of nature, all get explained to you in science class. It opens up a doorway, and for that reason, even if you don't get it all, it's pretty cool stuff. Better than algebra, right?

If you get super stoked for science or you hate it with a passion, you still need to know some — it's hard to manage to get through life without it. You can't go around thinking that thunder is caused by angry sky gods for too long because that'll get you a lot of weird looks from people, ya know? So let's see what you remember from that science class. Take the quiz and show us what ya got!

Which of these is NOT normally a part of an atom?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A typical atom consists of protons, neutrons and electrons. The idea of a positron was theoretical for a good chunk of time until they were discovered in 1932. They're basically positively-charged electrons. If a normal electron and a positron collide, they would destroy each other.

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There are three basic types of rock. What are they?
Sandstone, limestone, shale
Slate, limestone, sedimentary
Magma, basalt, shale
Igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic are your basic rock types from which all other rock types are made. Igneous come from the cooling of magma and are crystalline in structure, sedimentary are made from layers of compress debris and metamorphic are rocks that are changed by a result in alterations in pressure and temperature.

What is the unit used to measure force in physics?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Newtons are units of force that were named after Sir Isaac Newton. By definition, a Newton is the force needed to make 1kg of mass accelerate at a rate of one meter per second per second. An apple in Earth's gravity exerts about one Newton of force, in case you were wondering.


Radio frequency
Do you know the name of the unit used to measure frequency?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Hertz is a unit of measurement that measures frequency, like a wavelength. Something with a frequency of 1 happens once per second. Humans can hear sounds that are between 20 and 20,000 Hertz. The Middle C note on a piano has a frequency of 262 Hertz, which means the sound vibrates 262 times in one sound.

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What scientist is credited with creating the theory of evolution?
Marie Curie
Charles Darwin
Isaac Newton
Max Planck
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Charles Darwin published his book "On the Origin of Species" in 1859 which detailed his observations regarding the idea of evolution. It was met with much resistance in both the religious and scientific community, and to this day, some people still don't believe in it.

Who is the scientist credited with creating the theory of relativity?
Isaac Newton
Albert Einstein
Louis Pasteur
Johann Kepler
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Albert Einstein's theory of relativity is arguably the most widely known scientific theory in the world alongside Darwin's theory of evolution. Einstein crafted his theory that says the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers.


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Plant cells get their energy through the process of photosynthesis. Where does that take place?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Only plant cells have chloroplasts, which are where photosynthesis takes place. These organelles can convert sunlight that the leaves of the plant absorb into usable energy in much the same way an animal will convert the food they consume into energy.

Milky Way
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Word is there are about 100 billion galaxies in the universe. What's the name of the one we live in?
Alpha Centauri
Milky Way
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Our little solar system is located in the Milky Way Galaxy. It's what is known as a barred spiral galaxy and could be up to 200,000 light-years across. It's estimated that the Milky Way is about 13.51 billion years old.

Speed of sound
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Science is pretty good at measuring things we can't see or feel that well. Which is faster, the speed of light or the speed of sound?
It varies.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second while the speed of sound is only 767 miles per hour. Technically it does vary; the speed of light is measured in a vacuum, and the speed of sound is measured in air at a temperature of 20C. Any variation to those constants will alter the speeds, but those are the generally accepted scientific values.


Speed of light
A cheetah is fast, a jet is faster, but you won't find much faster than light in the universe. Just how fast is light?
300,000 miles/second
186,000 miles/second
147,000 miles/second
191,000 miles/second
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When they say light's fast, they're not kidding: Light travels at 299,792,458 meters per second or about 186,000 miles per second. The closer an object gets to the speed of light, the slower time becomes, and it's theorized that is you tried to exceed the speed of light, you could go back in time. That's just a theory, of course.

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What do you call it when a gas changes to a liquid state?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Condensation is what happens when a gas changes state, or condenses, into a liquid, hence the name. Crystallization can occur after that and transform a liquid into a solid. A solid could also sublimate into a gas or melt into a liquid.

Frequency waves
Sometimes the distance between a wave's source and the instrument measuring the wave changes. This causes a change in frequency or wavelength that is called ______.
Lawn Dart Effect
Askaryan Effect
Ohm's Law
Doppler Effect
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Doppler Effect is the name of this phenomenon when the wavelength changes based on your distance from the object. Doppler radar is used in meteorology to measure cloud movements and precipitation and even in baseball with their Statcast System.


Sound wave
What do you call it when sound waves bounce back to you off of an object?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Sound can work a lot like any solid object when it hits a wall and the waves bounce back toward where they came from. Smooth, hard surfaces are best for reflecting sound, while soft surfaces and objects will absorb the waves rather than reflect them.

If you're looking to chill a drink, you'll probably want to use ice. At what temperature does water freeze?
-40 F
0 F
0 C
32 C
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

At 0C or 32F, water will freeze into a solid. That's for pure water at normal pressure, and of course, that value can change with various variables introduced. For instance, supersaturated saltwater will free at -21.1C, and a liquid like ethanol won't freeze until -114.1C.

Ocean from space
We're lucky to live on a very watery planet. How much of the Earth's surface is water?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered in water, most of which (around 96.5%, in fact!) is not drinkable because it's saltwater. The amount of freshwater is obviously small by comparison, and of that small amount, very little of it is actually on the surface. Most water is trapped underground and hard to access.


X-ray thumbs up
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It's hard to tell from the outside, but there are a lot of bones in the human body. How many exactly?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Your typical human body has 206 bones inside of it. Interestingly enough, that's not a constant number throughout your life. When a human is born, they actually have 270 bones, but many of them fuse to become the 206 an adult will have.

Absolute zero
What is Absolute Zero?
0 degrees Celcius
0 degrees Fahrenheit
The coldest temperature possible
The temperature gases become liquid
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Absolute Zeros is also known as 0 Kelvin and is considered, at least theoretically, the coldest temperature possible. It is equivalent to -273.15C or -459.67F. At this temperature, it's theorized that the atoms in a substance would cease motion entirely.

Solar system
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Our solar system is one of countless in the universe. How many planets are in it?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

We have eight planets in our solar system, and they are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. Pluto was once considered the 9th planet, but it was dropped from official planet status and is now considered a dwarf planet since it doesn't meet all criteria necessary to be considered a real planet.


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What scientist is credited with discovering cells?
Albert Einstein
Robert Hooke
Max Planck
Isaac Newton
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Robert Hooke discovered cells back in 1665. The name "cell" came from his observation that the cells he first observed reminded him of "cellula," the small rooms that monks used to live in. That's why prison cells use the same word today.

Earth crust
If you're counting from the center out, what do you call Earth's fourth layer?
Outer Core
Inner Core
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Earth is made up of four layers. The center is the inner core and is extremely hot. That core is surrounded by the outer core and then the mantle and finally the surface that we call the crust.

Everything is made up of matter. Matter exists in three states. What are they?
Earth, wind, fire
Animal, vegetable, mineral
Solid, liquid, gas
Phased, inverted, gravimetric
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Matter typically exists in one of three states: solid, liquid or gas. Solids are things like tacos and rocks, liquids are water and Mr. Pibb, while gas is something like oxygen or that smell in the basement.


Gas giant
Which of these planets is NOT a gas giant?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Mercury is not a gas giant while the other planets listed are. Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter are all made of gas like hydrogen or helium though they have small, solid cores.

Body temperature
Though everyone is a little different, what, in general, is normal human body temperature?
37 C
33 C
98 C
15 C
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

37 Celsius or about 98.6 Fahrenheit is considered a normal human body temperature. This can vary only slightly from person to person. A temperature even a couple of degrees above normal can be extremely dangerous. A fever that reaches over 40 C can be deadly.

Earth from moon
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One day, there may be houses and businesses on the moon. How far do you need to travel to reach the moon anyway?
238,855 miles
167,988 miles
311,456 miles
229,755 miles
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

On average, the moon is about 238,855 miles from earth. That's an average because the moon's orbit can take it closer and further away and, of course, you need to take into account where you're measuring from on Earth as well. It can get as far away as 252,088 miles.


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Clouds are pretty awesome, right? How many major cloud types are there?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

10 major cloud types are in four major cloud groups. The 10 types consist of cirrus, cirrostratus, cirrocumulus, altostratus, altocumulus, stratus, stratocumulus, nimbostratus, cumulus and cumulonimbus.

Blood vessels
Tell us which one of these is not a part of your circulatory system.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The liver is not a part of your circulatory system, but your heart, lungs and arteries are, as well as your veins. The circulatory system is responsible for blood flow, oxygen, nutrients and hormones traveling through your body.

The Earth is pretty old relative to anything we experience in our day-to-day lives. Just how old is it?
4.54 billion years
3.66 billion years
10.6 billion years
9.11 billion years
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The earth is about 4.543 billion years old, of course back in the day it wasn't as hospitable as it is now. Debris formed the planet, and it was generally an unpleasant, extremely hot and volatile place until the very first basic life formed about 4 billion years ago.


Planets in solar system
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On Earth, a day is 24 hours and a year is 365 days. What planet has a day longer than its year?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It takes 225 Earth days for Venus to travel around the sun, completing one Venusian year. However, it rotates on its own axis once every 243 Earth days, effectively making a year on Venus shorter than a day.

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What does the "c" in the equation E=mc2 stand for?
The speed of light
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In Einstein's most famous equation, energy (E) equals mass (m) times the speed of light (c) times itself. That means, in a nutshell, the energy in matter is equal to its mass times the speed of light squared. And that, in turn, means matter has a lot of energy in it.

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You need oxygen to live, so it's a good thing our atmosphere is made up of it. About how much of our atmosphere is actually oxygen?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Even though we need oxygen to breathe, our atmosphere is only made up of just under 21% oxygen. The majority of the gas in our atmosphere is actually nitrogen, which makes up about 78%, and then other gases like carbon dioxide and argon.


Circulatory system
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You've probably heard of your circulatory system or your digestive system before. How many major systems does the human body have?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Human bodies have 11 main systems. They include the following: circulatory, respiratory, skeletal, digestive, immune, endocrine, muscular, nervous, renal, integumentary and reproductive.

Glowing light spiral
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Which of these is not one of the four fundamental forces of the universe?
Strong interaction
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Radiation is not one of the four fundamental forces. The four are electromagnetism, gravity, strong interaction and weak interaction. They're considered the four fundamental forces since science doesn't think they can be reduced down to any other forces.

Periodic table on laptop
What do you call the elements found in Group 1 of the Periodic Table?
Coinage Metals
Nobel Gases
Alkali Metals
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Group one on the Periodic Table are called the Alkali Metals, and the group consists of lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, cesium and francium. They are strong bases that can neutralize acids and react when placed in water.


Periodic table
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How many elements are there on the Periodic Table?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Since 2016, there have been 118 elements on the Periodic Table of elements. Element 118 is oganesson, which was first synthesized in the year 2002 and is represented by the symbol Og.

In what layer of Earth's atmosphere does weather like rain and snow occur?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The weather as we know it happens in the troposphere. It's the first of the five layers of the atmosphere that surround the Earth. The other layers, in order, are stratosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere and exosphere.

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