10 Holiday Gifts for Budding Scientists

Deluxe Root Beer Kit
Science can also be mighty tasty with this root beer kit that leads you through the process of making root beer and the chemistry behind it. Steve Spangler Science

Science just got a little more delicious. Help a budding scientist become a mini-brewmaster with Steve Spangler's Deluxe Root Beer Kit, which provides the key ingredients and equipment to make two gallons of root beer-flavored soda.

So where does the science come into play? As children ages 8 and older follow a few simple instructions, they add carefully measured ingredients -- yeast, root beer flavor crystals and root beer mix -- and watch the chemical reactions take place as the concoction travels through tubes, past gaskets and into 1-liter bottles. The process offers an up-close look at the breakdown of glucose and its transformation into energy, as well as fermentation. In fact, it is this fermentation process that creates carbon dioxide and gives homemade root beer its fizzy nature.