Home Store Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

Staff Wish List

Last year, I asked the Science Buddies staff what science, engineering, or technology tools were on their wish lists. The compilation of responses turned out to be an interesting roundup of most-wanted gadgets, a list that reflects the wide-range of personal interests that make up the small group of us at Science Buddies.

Despite the size of our site and the depth of our resources, there are only a handful of us. We are a small and busy team. We keep our "plates" full (agar and non-agar ones), and we work hard to keep up with the demands of the ten million students, parents, and teachers who use our resources each year.

As we prepare to celebrate Science Buddies' tenth birthday, I give you this little glimpse of the real people who make it all happen. This year, I again asked, "What's on your wish list." And, again, the range of answers surprised me! I hope you'll enjoy our shared wish list.

  • Ken, Founder and President, wants the Orion SkyLine Deluxe Green Laser Pointer. (We think he already has this, so it must be to add to his collection!)

    Why? "The beam of a green laser can be seen in the dark sky (red cannot), making it outstanding for pointing out astronomical objects to friends and family. Plus, it's really cool!" (But, be careful! To enjoy a laser pointer safely, check our Laser Safety Guide.)

  • Courtney, Vice President, wants a Roomba.

    Why? "It's easier than getting the kids to vacuum, and it looks like we could jury-rig it to do something funny, too!" She also wants a Day 6 Plotwatcher Time Lapse Video CameraWhy? "I've always loved seeing plant growth sped up on nature shows on TV."

  • Marisa, Director of Development, wants the iPhone Lens Dial from Photojojo.

    Why? "It's a compact photo-enhancing tool that sits on top of the iPhone's existing camera optic. It has a wheel attachment that spins, which allows you to take high-quality fisheye, wide angle, or telephoto pictures. It also has dual tripod mounts—one for portrait and one for landscape."

  • Sandra, Lead Staff Scientist, wants a Summer Shower 5.

    Why? "This year friends and family did a good job convincing me, the quintessential city-girl, that camping is fun. But I still need my daily shower! (Of course, I could just make my own!)"

  • Hugo, Chief Software Architect, wants LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT.

    Why? "Do I really need to say why? Programmable robots you can build yourself. I wish I were a kid again!" Hugo also wants a Kindle Fire. Why? "It's an affordable Android tablet. Read books, watch movies, play games, surf the web... what else do you need in the palm of your hand? I'd be walking around the house like a Star Trek guy with his tablet in hand!"

  • Claire, Product Design Engineer, wants a SodaStream Pure Black Sparkling Water & Soda Maker.
    Why? " I love flavored and carbonated water, but it can be so expensive! This machine allows you to add carbonation to regular tap water or juices. I would use it all the time!"

  • Debbie, Web Editor, wants a Rubik's Cube.

    Why? "I am determined to master the Rubik's cube! I was inspired by the "You CAN do the Rubik's cube" team at the recent Discovery Days Science Festival in San Francisco." You can download the guide and check out several Science Buddies Rubik's cube-based Project Ideas!

  • Michelle, Staff Scientist, wants a gift card to her local hardware store.
    Why? "The hardware store is a place where I can pick up anything and everything I need to build all kinds of experimental set-ups. Pumps, paint, hammers, lumber, rocks, cardboard, utility knives..... Visiting the hardware store is almost like a treasure hunt!"

  • Amy, Online Community Manager, wants a Squeezebox Touch.

    Why? "I love my original Squeezebox for playing Pandora music so much that I'd like one in another room. (The Music Genome Project is a pretty cool thing, too!)

  • Sherry, Grants Manager, wants Bushnell Deluxe Binocular Harness.

    Why? "To avoid bird-watching neck strain from holding heavy binoculars. I will reach for this harness when responding to rare bird alerts and waiting for birds to emerge."

  • Teisha, Staff Scientist, wants the Wingscapes WSCA04 Timelapse Outdoor PlantCam.

    Why? "Plants move in amazing ways, but because they move on such a different time scale than we do, it's often hard for us to notice. By taking a time-lapse video of a plant's movements over several hours, days, or even weeks, it's a lot easier for us to see how plants grow and respond to their environment. I'd use a time-lapse 'PlantCam' to watch the plants in my backyard, organic garden grow tasty vegetables!"

    • Yvette, Support Staff, wants the Solio Classic Universal Hybrid Charger

      Why? "I'm constantly on the go, and this would be the perfect gift to help me charge my phone, MP3 players, and other electronic devices while being eco-friendly!"

    (Editorial Note: Links to Amazon.com for some of the above products are provided for additional information. Science Buddies does not sell these items directly.)

Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies and Autodesk for Student STEM Exploration

Thanks to Aerojet Rocketdyne, the INFINITY Science Center, and Science Buddies, teachers in Mississippi got a booster course in rocket science—and paper airplane folding.

School and family science weekly spotlight: use dough to explore the relationship between dimensions of an object and volume.

In movies like Dolphin Tale, you don't have to look far to find the engineering design process in action. With the steps of the engineering process being acted out as the story unfolds, students see that success often involves a great deal of trial, error, testing, and redesigning.

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the science of making soup from dried beans.

Book 3 in the Nick and Tesla series offers great gadget-oriented science and engineering fun from the twins as they stay with their eccentric scientist uncle for the summer.

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the role of fat and temperature on pie crust texture.

Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!

You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. For any other use, please contact Science Buddies.