If you have a teenager who likes science and chemistry it may not always be easy to know what to get them. Giving them the typical chemistry set may not seem like much of a Christmas gift. That is until you find what is actually available these days. There is a huge selection of “Wow, that is cool” gifts available for teens interested in chemistry. A few teens not interested in chemistry would even like some of the new chemistry theme gifts available. I have created a list of Christmas 2007 chemistry gift ideas for teens. Just remember you can have fun with these gifts too.
1) Clothing is always popular with teens, and now you can give them a gift that is clothing and chemistry. I am listing some t-shirts I found though there are quite a few other clothing options out there.
Caffeine Molecule and Capsaicin Molecule T-shirts are great for both male and female teens. The caffeine molecule is printed in lime green on a navy shirt. The capsaicin molecule is printed in bright red on a maroon shirt. Both can be found at www.thinkgeek.com for $14.99.
Chocolate molecule ladies t-shirt. The Theobromine molecule is printed in magenta on a dark chocolate colored shirt and it is $17.99 at www.thinkgeek.com.
"Actually, I AM a Rocket Scientist" T-Shirt $19.95 www.findgift.com.
Heavy Metal t-shirt that has what looks like band logos but are actually the symbols of heavy metal. It is $16.99 at www.thinkgeek.com.
The Periodic Table T-Shirt. The 7-color Periodic Table glows in the dark and is printed on a 100% cotton black t-shirt. It is $16.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
2) Making cool stuff is what chemistry is all about. I found some chemistry kits that are all about fun and learning. These kits are designed to capture a teenager’s interest even if they are not already into science.
Glowing Gel Experiment Kit. This kit is to make strange and goofy substances that flow, stretch, break and bounce, and eco-foam fizzle or slimy ooze. Even stuff that glows on its own. They learn about the chemistry of gels, polymers, states of matter and phosphorescence. This is $14.95 at www.physlink.com.
Cool Blue Light Experiment Kit. Make a cool blue light appear in the dark or make a dirty penny glow and more experiments. Teenagers learn about chemiluminescence, how fireflies light up and the real quantum leap with this neat chemistry kit. Kit is $12.95 at www.physlink.com.
3) Edible Chemistry. Chemistry experiments a teenager can eat and drink when they are done. They actually learn about the chemistry of and what is in what they are eating.
Fizz Wizard Reaction Kit. Make color changing foaming jelly things and learn about the chemistry behind the reactions. Make fizzing drinks and then make them change colors. Pull tasty gels from a solution. Kit is $12.95 at www.physlink.com.
Thames & Kosmos Candy Factory Chemistry set. With this set Teens make candy and learn about the chemistry of crystals and why things taste good or bad. They experiment with the art of making candy, from creating the tasty ingredients to shaping the candies with the included molds and shape cutters, and using the candy thermometer, spatula, dipping fork and various other tools to form and coat your candies. You can get this kit for $42.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
Bubble gum kits are popular and there are a lot of them out there. Here are three kits that teach and are fun.
Bubble Gum Kit at www.stevespanglerscience.com for $12.95.
Scientific Explorer Bubble Gum Fun at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com for $12.95.
Scientific Explorer Ultimate Gum Kit – kids create their own gum and gum flavours. $27.95 www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
4) Chemistry of cosmology is popular, and not just as a gift for teen girls. You don’t have to use it to be interested in creating it. Making stuff is always fun and some of the best chemists work in the cosmetic and perfume fields.
Creative Cosmetics - The Science of Skin Care. This is all about learning what is in skin care products and what they actually do. A teenager will learn about basic dermatology and the chemistry of oils, gels and lotions. Then they get to make some skin care products as experiments. They also learn how skin care products are applied as well as the hygiene and safety necessary for proper skin care. The kit includes seventeen different cosmetics base substances to make personalized makeup, lip gloss, body lotion, face cream and shower gel. This kit is $54.95 at www.discoverthis.com and $54.99 at www.target.com.
Perfume Science Experiment Kit - Thames and Kosmos. This is a great gift that lets a teen design and develop their own personal perfume, learning the biology, chemistry and techniques to make fragrances. This kit can is $59.95 at www.physlink.com/estore and $54.95 at www.discoverthis.com.
Scientific Explorer French Spa Body Lotion – Teens learn about what is in French body lotions, and use chemistry to create their own designs. This kit is $17.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
5) Just about Chemistry.
Chem C3000 Chemistry Set $189.95 www.discoverthis.com Ages 12 and up.
CHEM C3000 is an excellent way to prepare for high-school level, and even college level, chemistry.
225g x 0.1g Postal Hanging Digital Scale is perfect for Chemistry students and teachers. $12.95 www.physlink.com. This is a great portable scale.
Periodic Table Placemat, a science-mat that shows all 112 elements. It is $2.95 at www.physlink.com.
Periodic Table Refrigerator Magnets. Each element is a magnet. It is $9.99 at www.thinkgeek.com.
6) If your teen is seriously into chemistry you may not want to give them a kit. Instead have them go to a web site like ScienceLab, www.sciencelab.com. It is a source for laboratory equipment, specialty chemicals and science educational products. They have a wide range of products in chemicals and reagents, pH meters, laboratory scales, refractometers, microscopes, laboratory glassware and many other scientific supplies. This way they can make up a wish list of what they actually want or need.
Written by: Lori-Lee Craig