Gifts for Science Geeks and Nerds

Gift Ideas for Science Types

Nerds and geeks (and chemists, physicists, and engineers) are the most interesting people, possibly because they have the coolest toys. Here's a look at some of the most fun and the geekiest gifts.

01
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Dino Pet Living Dinosaur

The dinopet is a living dinosaur that glow in the dark. Really!
The dinopet is a living dinosaur that glow in the dark. Really!. Amazon.com

Who says you can't keep a live dinosaur as a pet? This dinosaur is a dinosaur-shaped aquarium filled with living dinoflagellates, which are the most awesome creatures on the planet because when you disturb them, they emit bioluminescence (glow in the dark). During the day, the tiny creatures get their energy from ​photosynthesis, so you need sunlight to keep this pet alive. That's much easier than trying to support a live velociraptor!

02
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Laboratory Beaker Mug

Laboratory beaker mug
Image via Amazon.com

You know you'd like to brew coffee in the lab, yet it's a little on the unsafe side. At least your coffee can look like it came fresh from the lab. The mug holds 500 ml of your favorite beverage.

03
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Customizable Sonic Screwdriver

You can't be a Time Lord unless you have your own sonic screwdriver.
You can't be a Time Lord unless you have your own sonic screwdriver. Image via Amazon.com

We don't think you can actually screw in anything with this screwdriver, but that's not the point. You need this device in order to be an effective Time Lord. If you don't know who Dr. Who is or never the evolution of his screwdriver, you're clearly not a nerd.

04
of 09

Ecosphere Self-Contained Ecosystem

EcoSphere Closed Aquatic Ecosystem, Sphere
Image via Amazon.com

Of all the items you could put on your desk or coffee table, this may be the coolest. The Ecosphere is a closed ecosystem which contains shrimp, algae, and microorganisms. You don't have to feed or water these pets. Simply give them light and a comfortable temperature and watch this world thrive on its own.

05
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Glow in the Dark Fungi Kit

Glow in the Dark Mushroom Growing Habitat Kit
Image via Amazon.com

Yes, you could give a houseplant as a gift, but most nerds would prefer glowing mushrooms. This kit contains everything you need to grow your own brightly-glowing bioluminescent fungi, except a log for them to grow on. You can grow the shrooms in your yard or indoors in a terrarium. We don't recommend putting these mushrooms on a pizza, but they would make an attractive living night light.

06
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Storm Glass

A storm glass is a cool geeky gift that forms crystals according to weather.
A storm glass is a cool geeky gift that forms crystals according to weather. Image via Amazon.com

A storm glass is a sealed glass bulb containing chemicals that crystallize or otherwise change appearance in response to atmospheric conditions. If you keep track of its responses to weather, you can use it to make forecasts. It's also possible to make your own homemade weather glass to give as a gift.

07
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Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard

Laser Projection Virtual Keyboard
Image via Amazon.com

Here's a practical gift that the typical geek wants, but likely does not yet own. This is a wireless virtual keyboard. A laser projects the keyboard onto any flat surface, with keystrokes recorded by interrupting the beam. It's perfect for a mobile device, plus it looks super cool. 

08
of 09

Mini Fridge-Warmer

Neon® Portable USB Powered Mini Fridge Cooler and Warmer Can Refrigerator for Beverage, Drink, Beer - Plug and Play
Image via Amazon.com

Can't tear yourself away from that video game or Excel spreadsheet? Don't worry -- your computer's USB port can keep your coffee hot or that Red Bull frosty. What else makes this fridge/heater great? It locks. It's quiet. It has adapters for both home and car. It features twinkling LED lights. It might be hard to give this away as a gift. That's okay. Keep it for yourself.

09
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Perfume Science Kit

Gift the gift of scent and explore the science of making perfume.
Gift the gift of scent and explore the science of making perfume. Image via Amazon.com

We have simple instructions for using chemistry to make a homemade perfume, which makes a terrific gift, but a nerd might prefer this kit, which teaches the science of scent and how to construct a pleasing perfume. The age range is for 10+, so it's appropriate for older kids and adults. Thames and Kosmos is a trusted manufacturer of chemistry kits, so you won't be disappointed!