Let’s be honest — it’s one a hell of a headache to find some inventive, cool and affordable gifts to buy to your friends or family, especially if they are science geeks. So, since I am also currently searching for the best gifts to buy, I decided to do a short list, which I gathered throughout my research, of the most inventive, affordable and, most importantly, fun gift ideas for those with an interest in science. Let’s start by looking at some different gift ideas falling into a few basic categories — symbolic and cheap science gifts, amazing science gadgets (a little bit more expensive) and the best gifts for young geeks.
Cheap and Symbolic
So if you’re struggling with choosing something simple, affordable, geeky yet inventive consider a…t-shirt. Yeah I know what you’re thinking — isn’t it a little bit boring. Well no, as long as you can find an interesting, funny and inventive shirt. Just as a few examples, check out these shirts.
Best Gifts for Young Geeks
Okay, if t-shirts are not interesting enough for you I have some gift ideas for young geeks with a love for science. There’s nothing better for child with an interest in science than a science kit. It combines the pleasures of playing with valuable education forming one of the best learning tools for children. Here are 3 kits that I found rather interesting. The first one’s called Science Wiz/Inventions Kit. It’s actually quite a serious kit including 48 page book with explanations and other useful stuff, and materials to build a motor, a telegraph, a light-flashing generator and a real radio. Overall, it’s a great award-winning kit, recommended for anyone older than 8, but, since it’s quite sophisticated I would recommend it for young teenagers.
The second kit is Toysmith Magnet Science kit, which is all about magnets. Perform 10 fun experiments and games: Make a Super Power Horseshoe magnet or a Magnet Wand. With this kit one can construct a Super Magnet Racer, a Yacht Compass, a Mysterious Dangler and other cool projects. This kit is available for younger children and is cheaper, so if it’s something that your kind would like, be sure to check it out.
Physics Solar Workshop is another great kit powered by solar energy. In a few words, this kit is sort of like lego with solar power if that makes sense. This workshop uses a solar powered motor to operate various models. Then to illustrate that the sun generates the electricity, a battery can be used to operate the same motor and model. It also has a fine booklet with background information on solar power as well as the workshop parts.
Amazing Science Gadgets
Okay, so we have the symbolic/cheap section covered as well as gifts for kids, but what if you wan’t something really special and are willing to spend a few hundred bucks to buy something impressive? Then, my friend, let me tell you all about some amazing science gadgets, which will impress even the most hardcore geeks.
The first gadget isn’t the most practical thing ever, but hell — it looks awesome. It’s a levitron. And what’s a levitron? It’s basically a toy, which uses either permanent magnets or some sort of alternating magnetic fields to overcome the force of gravity. But you know how they say, a picture, or even better, — a video is worth a 1000 words, so check out this little presentation of the levitron.
If you thought the levitron is cool, you should check out the MindWave Brain wave headset. The MindWave gadget turns your computer into a private tutor. The headset takes decades of laboratory brainwave technology and puts it into a bundled software package for only about $100. It safely measures brainwave signals and monitors the attention levels of a user as he interacts with math, memory and pattern recognition applications.
Now it even comes with MyndPlay, which lets users adjust various scenes and outcomes within the movie, simply by focusing or relaxing when required. With more than 100 applications available, there are plenty of options depending on your age and personal interests. Here’s a cool presentation from the Gadget Show: