10 Holiday Gifts for Budding Scientists

Solar Power Plus
You can assemble 22 solar-powered models including a scooter, locomotive, forklift, solar-wind sail car and a cement mixer. Amazon

Solar Power Plus is a science kit that could have long-term, positive implications, especially if it inspires a child to someday invent new ways to harness sources of renewable energy. Just think: Your gift could inspire the next big thing! In the meantime, however, you can count on Solar Power Plus to entertain and educate as children ages 8 and older use the kit's 265 building pieces to create solar-powered vehicles. It's a fun way to discover more about energy circuits and photovoltaics while honing the skills necessary to solve problems in design and construction.

With the help of two solar panels included in each kit, each vehicle can be powered with up to 3 volts of electricity when parked or driven in sunlight (about the equivalent of two AA batteries). The solar panels can even be used to recharge AA batteries, which can be used to power the vehicles indoors or on cloudy days. And thanks to a 48-page instruction book designed just for young minds, children can create all kinds of vehicles ranging from airplanes, scooters, motorcycles and cable cars to street sweepers, backhoes, oil tankers and amphibious boats.