Top gadgets from the Science Gallery

17 Dec 2009

If you’re shopping in Dublin and stumped for geeky gadget gifts for your nearest and dearest, pay a visit to Trinity College Dublin’s Science Gallery for the best science and technology-related pressies around.

1. Kikkerland heart rainbow maker


The Kikkerland heart rainbow maker is a solar-powered gizmo that makes your own personal rainbow.

It attaches to your window with a suction cup and via the power of the sun and a heart-shaped Swarovski crystal rotates to refract sunlight and create a swirl of rainbows. Perfect for your science-loving partner.


The Kikkerland heart rainbow maker.

2. Buckyballs


You may remember from chemistry class in secondary school that buckyballs are the spherical structures of Buckminsterfullerene – a hollow ball-shaped molecule composed of carbon that looks quite impressive in comparison to the old oxygen molecule.

Well, these Buckballs are a set of 216 powerful little magnetic balls that can be arranged in an unlimited number of shapes – the thinking man’s Lego!

Check out the YouTube video. I wonder if its possible to recreate the Taj Mahal …



3. Pinhole Camera


This pinhole camera would make a great stocking filler: it is a self-assembly paper pinhole and solargraphy kit that takes between one and two hours to make.

You can take pictures with this paper camera by putting in 35mm film and because it has no optical lens the film is exposed by light falling on it through the tiny hole in the front of the camera.

You must keep the camera quite still and pictures are best taken on bright days. Exposure times range from five seconds to hours or even days so you can experiment by leaving the camera on a tabletop and let it capture the vista of moving objects.


Pinhole camera.

4. Mint Seedpod


Give your kids green fingers and grow your own in a compact space with the Mint Seedpod. This is a cute and eco-friendly herb kit that grows fresh mint in a matter of days. Just add water, leave it on your windowsill and you’re all set.

The kit contains seeds, a soil pellet and drainage pebbles, and one capful of water is enough to get growing.


The Mint Seedpod.

5. Zecar


Two things about the Zecar. First of all, it was designed by the ingenious Chico Bicalho with the express purpose of sending all royalty earnings to reforestation projects in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.

Secondly, it kicks ass! The minimalist design of this gizmo sits alongside its powerful abilities. Pick up this little car and rev it up a bit manually to store kinetic energy and when you let it go it whizzes along and can tackle obstacles such as your hand without losing balance or momentum.

By Marie Boran

Topmost photo: The Zecar.