The holiday season is upon us…

November 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

For those of you who plan to buy gifts this season, here are a few vaguely science-related gifts you might consider, either for people who are already interested in science or for people who ought to be:


A Space Age ant habitat — with see-through edible gel to keep the ants happy, and colored LEDs to make it look space age — or an 8-pod ant-o-sphere.  Ants not included, which depending on where you live may be a problem for a winter gift.

A build-your-own solar grasshopper or robot crab (with videos!)

Many varieties of fuzzy plush microbes, including anthrax, ebola and E. coli. Red and white blood cells, too.


Scarves (or ties) with patterns representing the Golgi; mitochondria; and the centriole.

A cocktail chemistry set

A light to tell you whether your shower is hot or cold (ideal to avoid oscillations caused by delayed feedback).

T-shirts and tote bags:

A frog is a mean green machine

Evolution kills (a different and perhaps more accurate take on the famous “March of Progress” image).

Why stop with evolution?  Teach the controversy of the turtle.

Baking: science for hungry people.

Kitchen stuff

Rubik’s cube salt and pepper mills

A folding colander

A lasagna pan that fits your lasagna noodles.

For budding engineers

A book about estimation, using Fermi’s method of approximation.

Engineering kits with an emphasis on mechanical linkages or gears

Kits to reproduce Leonardo’s catapult or self-propelled cart

And finally, something everyone will enjoy: the Big Bubble Thing.  I recently saw someone playing with one in the grounds of the DeCordova museum, and it was awesome.

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