I get quite jealous of all the cool science related gadgets and stuff that the North Americans can get through various internet sites so I thought I’d do some investigation to see what was available in the UK.
MUTR has many useful things for teaching and gifts. I have a robotic duck, and some very cool thermochromic paints (change colour with change in temperature). You can also get things like magic snow (polyacrylamide), a polymer that can absorb many times its own mass in water, used as fake snow. They are also responsible, in conjunction with the science museum, for some great science related gift kits (Launchpad Kits).
We’ve got a few Science Museum kits kicking around the house. I think we’ve got slime, a rocket and some magic sand. The magic sand is very cool – standard sand (silica) treated with an alkylsilane compound to make it completely hydrophobic (water hating).
The Royal Society of Chemistry has a beautiful Visual Elements Periodic Table jigsaw, as well as a collection of interesting books. I’ve been trying to avoid buying the science of chocolate for some time as I work through my shelf of unread books.
Any other suggestions?