One of the most exciting science gifts for adults this year comes from the PicoTurbine company. This company has developed a range of kits and add ons that will allow the enterprising scientist (and children who are age 10 and over) to explore the principles of wind and solar electricity generation. The basic kit is an 8″ tall wind powered device that will generate enough alternating current to light a red and green led light, demonstrating the principle of alternating current. Add on a kit to convert the alternating current to direct current and learn about converting current, then creating four different circuits and testing them. The latest price is $29 for the basic kit and $29 for the add on kit.
PicoTurbine advances the game to solar power with a kit that will show how to construct a generator and to generate enough solar power to support up to a 1.5 volt electronic item. This kit retails for about $26.
The SkyScout personal planetarium, from the Celestron Company will delight the astronomer in anyone! With a database of over 50,000 celestial objects, including stars, planets and constellations and the information to explain most of what we want to know, the SkyScout is the way to go. The device has a small LCD screen, and has connectivity with a SD card slot or USB computer connectivity. New data and information can be downloaded to the device, and accessories include an enhanced speaker. The basic unit retails for about $200.
The Fossil Mall is a portal to fossils for sale. For $7,500, a serious collector can score an entire museum quality Eubiodectes Libanicus. For just $75, one can obtain an isopod crustacea , whole and suspended in amber. There is no way to avoid this fascinating site, if just to look around!
For the serious mineralogist, a collection of quality minerals from all over the world, can be found at IC Minerals in Tucson, Arizona. Prices range from under $100 per specimen to over $500 per specimen.
The budding weather expert will thrill at having their own weather station. The Professional Measurement Company offers a station that collects data that can be uploaded to a computer for analysis, and also has a portable lightning detector accessory for a retail price of about $269.
Finally, for the enterprising explorer who wants to dive into the invisible world of microscopic things, The Microscope Store offers a variety of options for differing microscopic examinations that begin with a portable LED microscope for only $65. There are also microscope cameras available for recording our fantastic finds.