Christmas Gift Guide 2015: 15 gift ideas for mad scientists

Give the gift of science with our list of awesome experimental tech

Grab your lab coat and put the sonic scalpel on charge: things are about to get scientific.

Christmas might be about coming together and sharing the love over prezzies and grub (apparently), but the real fun is to be had at the makeshift dining table lab, as Dad dissects a mouse and Uncle Jeff jiffies together a genetics machine with little more than some Play-Doh, a microscope and a wire in the mains.

What's more, there's never been a better time to get young boffins scratching their heads: with a chronic shortage of science teachers in the UK, your conscience can be clear as you show your future minions how to raise an army of dinosaurs from the safety of your drone home. Glorious.

23andme Personal Genetics Kit (£125)

Christmas gift ideas - science projects and tech kits

If you fancy telling someone about the more than 100 health conditions they might have and the risk factors they’ve probably inherited, you might not be a very nice person. But you very well might want to give them this kit.

Tapping into the vast amounts of data human DNA can reveal, 23andMe will send you a package with all the instructions and tech you need to extract that info. They’ll then do all the testing before giving you your expected death date. OK, that last bit was a lie, but it’s still pretty spooky.

Buy the 23andme Personal Genetics Kit here

Mouse Taxidermy Kit (£30)

Christmas gift ideas - science projects and tech kits

Anyone with a Twitter bio that doesn't end in /taxidermist needs to take a long, hard look at their extracurricular credentials. Here's where you come in, with this surefire entry into an odd world of pop science and stitching. 

The process takes four hours and the kit includes tanning solution, surgical gloves, PVA glue, galvanised wire, cotton wool, Borax powder and a scalpel. Try saying the word scalpel to your potential taxidermist to gauge how much they will enjoy mucking about with mouse blood and guts.

No mouse is included so best to buy a (dead) one from an ethical supplier to present the gift as a complete squeak-free package.

Buy the Mouse Taxidermy Kit here

Bloodhound Education Rocket Car (from £15)

Christmas gift ideas - science projects and tech kits

How much fun can you have with a wedge of high density foam? Heaps of it, it turns out.

Stick some steel axles through it, add four plastic wheels and strap a whopping great rocket on to the back and you’ve got yourself a mini Bloodhound.

Inspired by the project aiming to beat the land speed world record, Bloodhound’s little foam sibling is all about teaching youngsters and adults alike the physics and fun you can have with four-wheeled rocket cars. Just don’t go using it in the living room.

Buy the Bloodhound Education Rocket Car here