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.
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."
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.
- 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!"