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Eight Science Gifts for that Special Somebody

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The season for celebrating the joy of giving is here and nothing says ‘I don’t like Black Friday either so I thoughtfully purchased this online weeks later’ more than shipping one of the excellent gifts in this list to yourself, wrapping it up, and handing it to that special scientific someone in your corner of the solar system.

A Gift You Can Download

You are reading this sentence thanks to lots of digital signals that fly around you all the time. An app called Architecture of Radio (iPhone/iPad) allows you to see all of those signals as a visualization that’s far more artistic than all those ones and zeroes make it sound.

Buy: Architecture of Radio app ($3)

A Gift You Can Carry


If you’re searching for a gift for a furry friend that more than likely dreams of space flight, mission accomplished.

Buy: Pet Carrier ($99)

A Gift You Can Eat


This set of 10 planetary lollipops is the perfect gift for someone with a sweet tooth who also hasn’t quite come to grips with Pluto’s new title. It’s not a planet but the good news is it makes the cut and it looks delicious.

Buy: Planet Lollipops ($30)

A Gift You Can Read


Scientists love to use ten-dollar words to explain big ideas and that can make understanding new scientific ideas tough for the majority of us who speak in much smaller denominations. “Thing Explainer” is an illustrated guide to complicated things and it’s full of simple drawings and descriptions that only contain the most affordable words — the top 1,000 most commonly used words in the English language.

Buy: Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe ($15)

A Gift You Can Wear


Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity celebrated 100 years last month. Share your appreciation of Einstein’s seminal theory with this t-shirt that doubles as a thank you note.

Buy: #ThanksEinstein T-shirt ($20)

Two Gifts You Can Build


Handmade gifts go the extra mile. They’re sentimental. They come packed with effort and thoughtfulness. Scientific homemade gifts are even better. They are the gifts you make yourself.

For the traditional tinkerer.

Buy: Classikit AM FM transistor radio kit ($60)

For the modern amateur engineer.

Buy: Arduino Uno Ultimate Starter Kit ($55)

A Gift You Can Grow


This gift allows you to accurately claim that you have given someone an entire ecosystem. It’s a fish tank that’s home to a beta fish, which provides food for the plants that grow above, which then cleans the water the fish swims in.

Buy: Water Garden ($60)

Honorable Mentions: A programmable robot and a 3D printer that fits in your hand.


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