Scientists provide many services to our communities, so it only makes sense to thank them every once in a while. A good place to begin looking for a thank you gift is the gift shop of a local science and technology centre. Books, videos and T-shirts can be found there, but if you want something different, try one of these scientist thank you gift ideas.
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Passes to a Local Science Center
Nearly all bigger cities and many small towns and communities have local science centres. A thank you gift of daily passes for your scientist and her family or a pair for her and a friend allows the recipient to spend a day observing live animals, interacting with hands-on science exhibits and maybe discovering something new in an unfamiliar branch of science. Ticket prices vary, but usually range from under £6 to £9 per ticket. The Association of Science-Technology Center web site includes a search function so that you can find a science centre nearby.
Science Cookie Cutters
Science-themed cookie cutters are a clever and potentially delicious gift. Cookie cutters are available in a variety of animal shapes, including rats, bugs, sea life, dinosaurs, zoo animals and wildlife critters. For the scientist that doesn't work with animals, Science Lab offers a set of cookie cutters that includes a test tube, atom, flask and beaker. Three or four cookie cutters in a cloth bag tied with a ribbon is a nice thank you gift; make the gift even more special by cutting, baking and decorating a batch of cookies to go with the cutters.
Molecular Science Jewelry
For the fashion-forward scientist, Made With Molecules makes and sells sterling silver, pewter and gold molecular-themed jewellery and accessories. For men, the company makes cuff links in the shape of the serotonin, or "happy," molecule and tie tacks in the shape of the caffeine molecule. For women, an oestrogen molecule necklace or earrings encourages good health while a serotonin molecule necklace is a symbol of happiness. Pricing begins at £11 for a tie tack and £26 for a pair of sterling silver earrings.
Puzzles and Games
Instead of a heavy science book, give your scientist some hands-on amusement with a science-themed game or puzzle. Puzzles run the gamut from the classic mind-bender Rubik's Cube to a periodic table jigsaw puzzle to 3D dinosaurs and butterflies. Gaming options include word-based board games, medical themed strategy games like Pandemic, wherein the players race to save the world from disease, and Zooloretto, where players attempt to build the most popular zoo to attract visitors.
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