A STEM club for kids, a book about sleep for you, and more.
An Amazon gift card or an envelope full of cash is nothing to scoff at, but giving a meaningful holiday gift requires you to know something about the recipient. Got people in your life who take pleasure in knowing the inner workings of human biology, think of themselves as “biohackers,” or stare off into space (through a telescope) at night? Get a gift that speaks to their passion for science. These five ideas from the team at will get you started.
We can all agree that sleep is important, but it’s often the first thing to go when we’re crunched for time. This new book from one of the leading experts on sleep — Professor Matthew Walker, Director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab — offers the scientific explanations for why we need to sleep, the consequences for not getting enough, and the health benefits we stand to gain from sleeping the right amount. Want to know even more? Visit The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to scientists who made some of the fundamental discoveries about circadian rhythms, which govern our sleep/wake cycle.
Want to inspire the next generation of scientists but don’t know where to start? This monthly subscription to STEM (that’s science, technology, engineering, and math) toy subscription delivers monthly gifts designed for specific age groups, like a PBS Kids Build It Kit from YOXO (ages 5-7) or a SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits Games & Gadgets Electronics Lab (ages 8-13). You’ll automate your gift-giving, and the recipient will be prepared for the future.
If gardening doesn’t seem like science, remember that the founder of genetics, Gregor Mendel, studied beekeeping and worked as a gardener in his youth — and some of his important experiments were on pea plants. This DIY windowsill kit allows you (and your kids) to garden anywhere there’s a window. It comes in two different kits: The spice kit grows Japanese mustard, daikon radish and edible chrysanthemum sprouts; the veggie kit grows red cabbage, mini-carrot greens, and tom thumb pea greens. This is a great introduction to science and the perfect activity for a family.
If you’re serious about investing in your health, get your whole genome sequenced by Veritas, a company co-founded by the scientist George Church, who helped create the original technology for direct genome sequencing. What’s the benefit of having six billion of your DNA letters sequenced? You’ll understand your disease risks, get insights into lifestyle changes that can help you be healthier, and plan for children with knowledge of genetic conditions you could potentially pass on.
Chess isn’t hard science, but it is the most fun you can have practicing creative problem solving with a board game. And this isn’t any old chess lesson. It’s 29 virtual lessons (accessible forever) with grandmaster Garry Kasparov, including strategy, tactics, and theory. Get the lessons for your kids and they might become the next Magnus Carlsen.
Want more gift ideas? Check out Elysium Health’s gift guide specifically for young scientists on their site, Endpoints.