Buckle up, because Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just days away! If you have a scientist or science-lover still on your list, you’re in luck. Laboratory Equipment’s 10th annual Holiday Gift Guide is here with some great ideas for the science nerd if your life—or for yourself (I won’t tell). And if you have a young one with an interest in science, be sure to check back in early December for our kid-centric guide. Now, get a move on—express shipping costs are no joke!
1. James Webb Telescope Mirror Ornament
When I write about the Top 10 Science Discoveries of 2022 in a couple weeks, the unprecedented images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope will surely make the list. The 25-year, $10-billion road to launching the most powerful telescope ever was long and hard, but the telescope’s immediate payout feels worth it already. You can recognize this incredible achievement with a James Webb Space Telescope Mirror Ornament. Featuring the beautiful 18 mirror segments of Webb’s primary mirror, this ornament will for sure make any tree sparkle. Additionally, the company, ScienceSocks, donates 10% of every ornament purchase to STEM for Her. If a tree doesn’t work for your science lover, ScienceSocks has an entire collection of James Webb Space Telescope gifts, including this awesome umbrella and puzzle of the first image released back in July.
2. Atom Tree Topper
If an angel on top of the tree is too ordinary, this gift will certainly pique your interest. This atom tree topper is designed and handmade in Washington state from internationally sourced materials. This listing is for a 9-inch topper, although the shop also sells smaller versions. There are 7 color options for the electron, so personalization is encouraged. Additionally, the shop also sells “extra electrons” if you need more than one. As these are handmade, the 7- and 9-inch varieties are likely to sell out, but the shop owners say they have plenty of materials for 6- and 8-inch toppers—and plenty of electrons. Still, if you’re interested, the sooner you order, the better!
3. Oh, ChemisTREE shirt
Okay, last Christmas tree one, I promise. This T-shirt is perfect to wear to the lab, the office, the classroom or even the holiday party (if it’s casual). This periodic table-inspired shirt can fit anyone on your list, with the 18 color options offered, and sizes ranging from onesies to 5XL. The graphic is even offered as a face mask. Additionally, the Etsy store this is from has all 5-star reviews.
4. E-Waste Laboratory Bench Circuit Board Art
This art is made entirely from recycled circuit boards cut to shape. Since each one is made from electronic waste parts, it will contain different elements and parts based on the company’s current availability. For example, the elements on the wall may be composed of electronic waste, be mini periodic tables, and/or contain digital number components. The lab bench itself could be circuit board or wood. This is probably one of the most unique gifts I have ever seen, and that’s saying something since we’re on year 10 of this guide. If a lab bench isn’t quite what you’re looking for, the company offers many other art options. There’s this flask version for example, as well as this rainbow test tube one. Additionally, the website allows you to search by discipline and sub-discipline, making it as simple as possible to find the right gift.
5. Chemistry Playing Cards
This deck of cards features digitally illustrated prominent chemists and physicists who have contributed to the world of chemistry. Each king, queen and jack features a scientist and an image that represents their respective research in some way. For example, Wilhelm Schlenk is holding a Schlenk line manifold as his staff. There are also a few puns thrown into the mix! The suits are organic chemistry-based—water, benzene, tetrahydrofuran, and ethyl acetate. The outside of the cards and the regular numbers sport a variety of structural formulas, as well.
6. Honeycomb & Bee Cufflinks
Handmade with wood and plated in tarnish-resistant platinum, this pair of hexagonal prismatic wax replicas will sweeten any outfit. Their lifelike triple-layer design pays homage to one of the most important insects in the food chain. And not to worry: No bees were harmed or honeycombs used in the making of these treasures.
7. Flask Tumbler with Reusable Straw
This isn’t your typical way to use the iconic Erlenmeyer flask—but it’s just as cool. This one-of-a-kind flask tumbler comes in a four color options, and is made with quality materials like borosilicate 3.3 glass and food-grade silicone. You can also pick between five different options for the straw. And if you need additional straws, there’s an option for that, as well. Each flask and brush set come with two straws, a cleaning brush and packaged in a carrying bag. The reviews for the shop and the specific item are excellent. The chemistry-themed shop has tons of other gifts as well, including beverage beakers, flask soap dispensers, coaster sets, and even test tube pins for a lab coat.
8. Dihydrogen Monoxide Warning Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Okay, this one made me laugh out loud. This stainless steel water bottle features a warning label for the contents inside—dihydrogen monoxide, or good old water. This is an oft-repeated joke in science circles. If the bottle makes it to the lab, colleagues are likely to crack a smile after a second look. You can even personalize the bottle with a name—or secondary warning if you really want to be a prankster! The lightweight, 14 oz. bottle has a plastic screw top to prevent spills, and comes with a carabiner and keychain ring. The Etsy shop is also considered a “Star Seller.”
9. Lab Notes Scarf
If you’ve spent time researching a paper or working on a specific experiment, this scarf probably looks very familiar to you. The design was drawn from a collection of lab notes taken by chemist Ruth Maust during her PhD studies researching new carbon-based materials. Printed with an all-over design, the scarf is made in earth-friendly lightweight cotton. Additionally, Cognitive Surplus is one of my absolute favorite retailers of science gifts. If you still haven’t found the right gift from this list, head over to Cognitive Surplus and I bet you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. Their notebooks are super highly rated!
10. Science Will Win Tote Bag
The COVID-19 pandemic kicked off an unexpected surge of public distrust of science and scientists. In the years of the pandemic, and still now, misinformation about SARS-CoV-2 and vaccines is prevalent—and harmful to the scientific community, the same people who dropped everything to study and research the virus in an attempt to keep others safe. With the development of the first approved vaccine in the U.S. to treat COVID-19, Pfizer played a huge role in halting the spread of the deadly virus. Their “Science Will Win” product line highlights the critical importance of the research and work scientists and experts do day-in, day-out to ensure we continue to live in a safe world. Additionally, Pfizer is donating all of profits from the Science Will Win Store to charity. (The slogan is also available as a water bottle, tumbler, hat, sweatshirt, and men’s and women’s T-shirt.)
Bonus: Periodic Table of Element Wrapping Paper
If you just bought one or more things from this list, you may also need to invest in this bonus item. Because seriously, who wouldn’t want to receive a gift from a friend or family member that is wrapped in the periodic table of elements? Reviews of this paper say it ships fast, you can’t see through it, and the high-quality paper doesn’t tear while wrapping.
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