Need some fresh gift ideas for the scientist, doctor, teacher, engineer, or other science lovers in your life? It can be hard to find good science gifts for adults, especially since science is such a broad term. But don’t worry! There are tons of great science gift ideas out there for your loved ones, and we’ll help you find the perfect one!
We’ll show you the best science gifts on the market, what to look out for when buying science-themed geek gifts, and how to find the right presents to match your science enthusiast’s interests.
The Best Science Gifts for Adults in 2023
If you’re looking for a bit of science fun for a rock enthusiast (or an enthusiast of hitting things with a hammer), the National Geographic Geode Kit is the perfect gift. It comes with 10 rocks ranging in size from ping-pong to tennis balls. Each rock has a colorful geode inside that is revealed when you break apart the rocks with a hammer.
The kit also comes with a 16-page high-quality booklet with science information about geode formations, as well as safety goggles and a magnifying glass to help break open and identify your geodes.
- 10 different geodes included
- Safety equipment provided
- 16-page full-color education booklet
A perfect choice when considering gifts for the inventor in your life, the Makey Makey Kit offers thousands of possible builds. The kit comes with several plugs and clips to help you turn everyday household items into interesting inventions.
It is a science gift that has a low bar of entry with an age recommendation of 8 and up, making it a great gift idea for kids and adults alike. With no prior programming or electronics knowledge required, it’s ideal for the science enthusiast who likes to dabble in engineering concepts.
The Makey Makey Kit also works with Windows, Mac, and Chromebook operating systems, so it’s accessible to most devices.
- No coding required
- Turns everyday objects into electronic devices
- Thousands of possibilities
When you’re on the lookout for a great gift for a scientist or chemistry geek, the Heritage Periodic Table of Elements is a classy and high-value item that is sure to impress. It’s made of thick, clear acrylic and has a small sample of each element embedded into it. Because it is transparent, you can view the samples from all angles.
It’s an interesting and quality decoration for any office, lab, or classroom. At 6” wide and 4.5” tall, it won’t take up much space even on a desk or work table. However, with a 1” thickness, it’s also durable and able to stand on its own.
- Actual samples of elements inside
- Durable 1" thick acrylic
- Can view the element samples from all angles
If you’ve ever encountered a child for more than, say, five minutes, you’ve probably noticed that they ask a lot of questions. The What If? book by Randall Monroe is the adult version of this, answering as many hypothetical questions as possible with well-researched scientific answers that can sate even the most curious mind.
What If? is a humorous and engaging read that blends written passages with comedic illustrations and comic panels, making it one of the best science gift ideas to appeal to a wide variety of minds.
- Humorous and witty
- Short sections for quick reading sessions
- Thought-provoking content on many different topics
Another great science gift idea for your favorite geology geek, the 4M Crystal Growing Kit comes with the materials to grow seven different crystals. With step-by-step instructions and all the necessary tools included, this is a full science kit that is great for science novices and pros alike.
It also includes display cases for when the crystals are fully grown, so you can easily display the results of your science experiment in your home or office. The included instructions also provide educational information on the growth and formation of different crystals, making this kit a great learning tool as well as being a fun science activity for kids and adults of all ages.
- Includes display cases for finished crystals
- All supplies provided for seven different experiments
- Great entry science kit
If you need gift ideas for a coffee (or tea) obsessed science geek, this glass beaker mug is sure to be a hit. With a caffeine molecule illustration on one side and the graduated mL markings typical of a real beaker on the other, this mug would be a fitting addition to any scientist’s drinkware collection.
Dishwasher and microwave safe, this mug makes reheating and cleaning up a snap. With a 400ml capacity, it’s about twice the size of a standard cup of coffee, which is just what we would expect from a science gift geared toward caffeine lovers.
- 400ml capacity
- Made of durable borosilicate glass
- Dishwasher and microwave safe
Need gift ideas for your favorite engineering or technology nerd? The upgraded version of the popular Ender 3 3D printer kit, the Creality Ender 3 v2 Neo fixes some of the common issues with its predecessors. The Ender 3 is one of the more popular budget 3D printer options, so the v2 takes an already excellent design and tweaks it for optimal performance.
With an updated motherboard, interface, power supply, and heated bed, the v2 Neo is quieter, more powerful, and faster to reach its target temperature than the original Ender 3. While it is technically a kit, it requires very little assembly. Most users have it up and running in 15 minutes.
- Endless fun
- Easy to assemble
- Perfect entry into 3D printing
One of the classic geek gifts that appeals to most science enthusiasts, a quality microscope kit offers a lot of fun and versatility for your favorite science guy or gal. The Amscope microscope kit in particular is one of the top science kits you can buy for unlimited exploration of the natural world.
Made with an all-metal body, the Amscope microscope is a durable and sturdy science gift. It has LED lights on both the top and bottom to illuminate samples from both sides. It also has a wide magnification range of 40x-1000x, making it perfect for the analysis of both regular and microscopic objects.
- LED lights on top and bottom
- Sturdy all-metal body
- 1000x magnification
If you’re looking for an introductory telescope to start exploring the sky and local wildlife, the Vega 600 is a great beginner option for science-minded children and adults alike. With a refractor-style body, it is a lightweight and low-maintenance telescope for viewing birds, animals, and bright stars.
It can magnify up to 250x, which is better for terrestrial exploration than celestial. Telescopes usually have around 700x magnification in order to see objects in the sky with good clarity. However, what the Vega 600 lacks in power it more than makes up for in portability and ease-of-use.
- Lightweight for on-the-go exploration
- Great for viewing terrestrial objects
- Low maintenance and easy to use
For a classy and quirky gift for science lovers, the Periodic Tableware Beaker Wine Glass adds a wine glass stem to a standard 200ml volume laboratory beaker. Hand-blown from durable borosilicate glass, it’s sturdy enough to work as a fully functional glass. It is even dishwasher safe, making clean-up quick and easy—something busy science professionals are sure to appreciate.
- 200ml volume
- Durable borosilicate glass
- Dishwasher safe
Gallium is a non-toxic low melting point metal that is sure to entertain science-loving children, teens, or adults for hours. Gallant Metals Gallium has exceptional 99.9% purity, making it some of the purest gallium you can buy. It comes in 100g increments and is stored in plastic beakers so it is easy to use and reuse.
Gallium melts at 30 °C, making it possible to handle the liquid metal with your hands. It’s also non-toxic and all residue easily washes off with soap and warm water. It’s great for science experiments or just tactile play since the texture and viscosity are a unique experience.
- 99.9% purity
- Melts at 30 °C
For anyone looking to learn the basics of electronics, programming, and other mechanical concepts, the Elegoo Arduino MEGA Starter Kit offers a wide variety of applications. With over 200 pieces including a MEGA control board, LCD screen, LED diodes, etc., you can build a variety of different projects with it.
It includes over 35 detailed educational lessons to help you understand the different components and how to use them in various projects. Even more seasoned users can find this kit useful since it includes many of the basic components needed for electronics projects.
- Over 200 components
- Detailed educational lessons
Not only is this Stirling engine model kit one of the best science gifts for adults, but it’s also a thought-provoking and stunning decoration for any space. With a bamboo base, aluminum flywheels, and glass cylinders, it is not only fully functional but also interesting to look at.
Based on actual Stirling engine designs, this model kit for adults produces electricity to power two LED lights when 95% alcohol is ignited in the fuel burner. The LEDs can run for 8+ continuous hours using this method. Since it requires flammable substances, it isn’t a great gift for kids or teens.
- Fully functional design
- LEDs light for 8 hours
- Stunning and well-crafted design
Travel mugs with nerdy designs are easy and fun science gifts for adults that are functional as well as entertaining. This periodic table travel mug bears a science pun design on it for an amusing play on words that any science enthusiast will enjoy.
The mug is made of stainless steel and has a 20oz / 500ml capacity. Its insulated double walls keep drinks hot for 3 hours and cold for 9 hours, making it the perfect gift for busy science professionals who need their favorite beverage ready to go for most of their day.
- 500 ml capacity
- Insulated to keep drinks hot or cold
- BPA-free spill-proof lid
When your chemist or science nerd wants to experiment in the kitchen as well as the lab, the Wink Chemist’s Spice Rack is a science gift that adds a bit of geeky charm to the cooking process.
The kit comes with 9 test tube spice bottles with rubber stoppers and 32 different stickers designed to look like the elements on the periodic table so you can choose which spices to keep on the rack.
Wink Chemist’s Spice Rack also comes with three shakers shaped like Erlenmeyer flasks for salt, pepper, and sugar, as well as a larger flask for oil. All the pieces fit nicely on the all-metal rack and are easy to see when you need to quickly choose your ingredients.
- Customizable design
- All-metal rack
- Shakers and oil bottle included
Based on Galileo’s instruments, this thermometer and barometer set is a functional and gorgeous addition to any desk or shelf that is sure to wow any science lover you gift it to.
Set on a wooden stand, the thermometer, as you may have guessed, is a Galileo thermometer—a glass cylinder filled with water and colorful spheres that each represent a different temperature. As the temperature changes, the correct sphere floats to the top through the principles of buoyancy.
The barometer is shaped like a globe and has a world map etched on it. It tracks the changes in atmospheric air pressure and therefore weather patterns.
- Fully functional thermometer and barometer
- Beautiful wood and glass design
- Based on Galileo's instruments
There is no better gift for a science or mathematically-minded baker than a pie pan shaped like pi. Able to hold the same capacity as a traditional 9” pie pan and follow the same temp and time instructions, the pi pie pan can add a geeky touch to your next baking day.
While a perfect novelty item for your next Pi Day, it does need gentler care than many of the other kitchen items on this list. Dishwashers tend to be too harsh for the pan, so you should take care to hand wash it after use.
- Same capacity as a normal pan
- Bakes at the same time and temp
- Can be used for brownies, bread, and cakes as well
Despite the creative flair many chefs add to it, cooking is more of a science than an art. Jeff Potter explores the science of the kitchen in his book Cooking for Geeks, explaining the scientific processes that various foods go through as they cook.
This book goes beyond the “how?” of an ordinary cookbook and delves into the “why?” as well with over 100 recipes and over 20 interviews with chefs, scientists, and other experts. It’s a great gift for curious minds who want to understand the mechanics of cooking in addition to the instructions.
- Explains the scientific process of cooking
- Over 100 recipes
- Educational interviews with experts
Developed with the help of NASA to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the LEGO NASA Apollo Lunar Lander Kit is a highly detailed and realistic model of the original craft.
Made up of over 1000 pieces, it is considered a difficult model to put together and is rated for ages 16 and up, so it is one of the best gifts for any science fanatic who enjoys the process of building complex models. It also has multiple forms it can transform into such as its ascent or descent stages, making it a fun and versatile model once it is built.
- 1000 pieces
- Expert-level build
- Transforms into multiple forms
A Euler’s disk is a perfect gift for any science lover, and Toysmith’s is one of the best. Utilizing holographic foil and a concave mirror for their Euler’s disk, it produces gorgeous lights and patterns while it spins that is sure to enamor both kids and adults.
The 3” steel disk is chrome-plated for extra shine and gives the product a much more quality appearance when next to the included holographic foil. The base with the mirror is 9” in diameter, so while it still fits on a shelf or desk easily, it has plenty of room for the disk to spin and reflect its light.
- 3" chrome-plated steel disk
- Magnetized holographic foil
- Large 9" base
Puzzles are a great way to hone and strengthen problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and this 1000-piece puzzle of outer space should keep even the most enthusiastic puzzle aficionado entertained for several hours. Made from high-quality cardboard, this Solar system puzzle is meant to stand up to the wear and tear of being out of its box for several days or weeks as it is pieced together.
In addition to the puzzle, it also comes with a bonus poster featuring the puzzle image on one side and science facts about space and the solar system on the back so you can learn all about our corner of the universe as you piece it back together.
- Bonus poster
- High-quality cardboard
Need some science gift ideas that are cozy as well as geeky? These circuit board socks should do the trick! Made from a thick cotton-polyester blend material, they are soft, stretchy, and durable for maximum comfort and longevity.
They fit shoe sizes 7-11, though they are quite stretchy to accommodate slightly larger feet. The fabric is certified OEKO-TEX, so it’s free of harmful substances and materials sometimes found in clothing products.
- Cotton blend
- Certified OEKO-TEX Standard 100
- Thick fabric
If you need gift ideas for a lover of all things outer space, the LEGO NASA Apollo Saturn V Rocket Kit is worth considering. With over 1900+ pieces and recommended for ages 14 and up, it’s a complex build that can keep even seasoned model builders busy for a while.
The Saturn V is a realistic 1:110 scale of the original rocket and is highly detailed to be as faithful a replica as possible. It can transform into three different forms based on the stage of flight and comes with four NASA astronaut figurines.
- 1900 pieces
- Transforms into three stages
- Accurate model of the original rocket
For a science gift that adults and kids can enjoy together, the National Geographic Stunning Science Chemistry Kit is a fun introduction to chemistry, the scientific method, and science experimentation. With over 45 experiments to choose from including a volcano model, rocket, and more, this kit will provide hours of educational entertainment.
This chemistry set for adults comes with step-by-step instructions to guide even the beginner science lover through each experiment. The instructional guide is easy to follow and breaks many of the difficult science concepts down into simple explanations. It comes with everything you need to get started, including protective equipment, so there is no need for extra supplies or gear.
- Over 45 experiments
- Step-by-step guide
- Chemistry foundations
When fidget spinners just aren’t enough anymore, the Speks Geode Magnetic Fidget Sphere has you covered. With 12 magnetic pieces, you can create all sorts of fidget toys including a dodecahedron. The pieces easily come apart and go back together for hours of play.
While the kit includes instructions to get you started on some of the basic shapes, the possibilities are endless thanks to the rare earth magnets on all sides of the 12 panels.
- 12 panels
For a nerdy twist on a basic wall clock, the Decodyne Math Wall Clock replaces the numbers on the face with math equations that all solve to the correct hour. Perfect gifts for offices, classrooms, or labs, this clock fits any decor with its simple black and white design.
It is battery-powered and has the standard three-hand setup. The clock measures 11.5” in diameter, which makes it easy to read even from the back of a classroom, and the black background and white text contrast each other well for even better visibility.
- Versatile black and white design
- Fun equations
- 11.5" face for easy reading
For quirky but highly-detailed bobble figure gifts, Royal Bobbles have exquisite attention to detail that elevates the overall quality of their bobbleheads well beyond the usual figurines. While they have bobbles of all sorts of people, their Albert Einstein model is the perfect gift for your favorite science guy or gal.
His bobble stands at 8” and is made of polyresin. Like their other figurines, his design was carefully researched and each bobble is carefully handpainted to ensure the best quality possible.
- High detail
- 8" resin figure
- Hand painted
Wit’s End is a trivia-based board game that challenges your knowledge of multiple subjects including science. With four different categories of play, it’s the perfect choice for a game night or party to show off your brainpower on topics like history, current events, art, geography, and science.
Rated from age 16 to adult, players can band together into 2-6 teams to pool their knowledge or they can play individually. The game comes with question cards, a game board, dice, player pieces, and detailed instructions.
As far as geek gifts go, this one is likely to be a hit. Testing players’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills beyond just trivia knowledge, it’s a great way to engage your brain in a fun way.
- Multiplayer trivia game
- Team or individual play
- Four play categories
Another kinetic toy that is sure to keep most science fans engaged, the PLAYABLE ART Helicone is made up of several laser-cut wooden arms that are threaded onto a brass tube. When the tube is spun in one direction, the wooden arms open up into a pine cone shape. When it is spun in the other direction, it forms a helix shape.
The Helicone comes with a nice wooden stand that the brass rod slips easily in and out of so the toy can be used with or without it. The manufacturer does suggest using the stand when possible since the wooden arms are fragile and can break off if the toy is dropped. For that reason, it isn’t one of the best gift ideas possible for most kids.
- Wood and brass design
- Display stand included
- Packaged in a premium gift box
Made by the same company as the beaker wine glasses, the Laboratory Beaker Shot Glasses are another excellent gift idea for a scientist, doctor, teacher, or other chemistry lovers. Coming in a set of 4, it features two beakers and two Erlenmeyer flask glasses.
Fabricated from thick-walled borosilicate glass, the shot glasses are sturdy, durable, and of excellent quality. They have an overall volume of 50 ml, but the graduated markings on the glasses stop at 40 ml. They are dishwasher safe and since the markings are kiln-fired, they won’t get damaged or peel away under the harsher dishwasher spray as cheaper ones would.
- 2 different shapes
- Thick borosilicate glass
- Dishwasher safe
For a fun or quirky science gift idea, the Relativity Wrist Watch is an awesome modern watch inspired by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. This watch is unique because the numbers move around the watch face instead of the hands. While it takes a little time to get used to the difference, the spinning watch face is interesting to look at.
With a 33mm watch face and a genuine gray leather wristband, the relativity watch also looks very professional. It’s a standard quartz clock, so it doesn’t need anything more than an occasional battery change to keep it going.
- Moving clock face
- Genuine leather band
- Japanese quartz movement
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for When Buying Science Gifts for Adults
Not all science gifts will appeal to all STEM-inspired people. A mechanical engineer might enjoy gifts like a 3D printer, LEGO model, or electronics kit while a geologist would not. Think about what science field they work in or are interested in when deciding on the right gift.
When choosing gifts for science lovers, it’s important to make sure the complexity of the gift matches their skill level. A scientist who works professionally in a lab probably won’t get much thrill out of gifts like a chemistry set rated for ages 8 and up.
Many of the science gifts we listed have immense educational value for both kids and adults. The science kits usually have the most learning value, since they teach the basics of a science field or discipline through easy projects and experiments.
If the gift is in a science field the receiver doesn’t know much about but is interested in (such as a chemistry teacher wanting to know more about electronics or programming), choosing a science kit that covers the basics could be helpful for them to start learning.
Some science gifts will be single-use while others can be reused multiple times. The crystal growing kit, for example, can only be used to make 7 crystals. The Vega 600 telescope, on the other hand, can be used as many times as necessary as long as it is in good working order. Consider the life expectancy of the gift when making your decision.
Science gifts for adults are a fantastic choice when you have loved ones interested or working in a STEM field. While we gave you a pretty extensive list of science-themed gift ideas to fit most types of interest, the What If? Book stood out as the best.
It fosters the natural curiosity we all have and does it in a light-hearted and entertaining way. Even if the recipient isn’t big on reading, the accompanying comics throughout the book are also a great experience.
The Gallium liquid metal and Makey Makey kit were both a close second, thanks to how unique and versatile they are. The Makey Makey kit has nearly limitless possibilities for projects, while the gallium offers a sensory experience unlike any other.
What science gifts did you like best from our list? Drop us a comment to let us know!
If you liked these ideas, check out our recommendations for robot kits for adults and wood model kits for adults. These make equally good gift ideas for any occasion.