In case you were wondering: HeroRATs

APOPO rat holds a snack in its pawsWe first squealed with delight over the APOPO HeroRATs in a cool science gifts post waaaaaay back in November 2014. Always on the lookout for science treasures, we couldn’t help but introduce the amazing impact the rats’ olfactory abilities were making in mine detection and tuberculosis screening in Africa.

Oh, and the cute! Valentine’s Day is coming soon…

We adopted a couple of the rodents (Hans and Gertie), added APOPO Hero Gifts to our browser bookmarks and sent some virtual baskets of bananas to our nearests and dearests. With regular updates from our adoptees, APOPO is never far from our hearts and minds.

So, what have the giant pouched rodents-of-unusual-size been up to since then? We thought you’d like to share in the awesomeness (and of course the cuteness—squee!) of this amazing organization.

Demining

APOPO mine-detecting rats from the training program in Tanzania are currently deployed in Angola and Cambodia, with logistical aid supplied in Laos and Vietnam—all recognizable to history buffs as some

Cool science gifts for the cool science kids

Image of child in spacesuit helmet with Dolly the sheep reflected in the backgroundWith the arrival of a Talk Science to Me baby this summer, we’re looking ahead this festive season to nurturing the next generation of science fans with some cool gifts.

Crowdsourced from friends, like a lot of parenting advice these days, here’s our list for keeping the kids (and adults too) fully occupied over the festive season.

(Many) days out with science

First up, from a new mom, our associate editor Roma Ilnyckyj recommends a family membership to a science museum. In Vancouver, BC, we’re spoiled for choice with excellent kid-friendly institutions like Science World, which is filled to the brim with interactive exhibits, as well as the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, which connects us with the natural world, and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, to blast us off among the stars. Or you may live close to London’s Natural History Museum or the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, which both allow free

Cool science gifts: 2016 edition

mellow’Tis the season to be sciencey … tra la la la la!

This is where we come to the rescue with ideas for treating your beloved, or for you to drop as hints to your beloved.

Ta-da! The Talk Science To Me annual cool science gifts guide 2016 (read our gift guides from 2014 and 2015 on the blog).

Tech

There are some really cool pieces of tech out there for gifting, but how about something that lets you play scientist out in the field? Since science is all about observation and the best camera is the one you carry with you, clip-on lenses make an excellent upgrade for out in the field. Olloclip is a popular choice for iPhones, with easily interchangeable lenses that cover fish-eye, selfie and wide-angle, in addition to macro versions for 10x and 15x viewing. Photojojo also covers Android phones, with standard photography lenses that magnetically snap on to a metal disc that glues to your phone.

Want more power? Turn your phone into a microscope and explore the microscopic world with

‘Tis the season: The 2015 cool science gifts edition

A pencil drawing is hooked up to the MaKey MaKey (outside of the photo). The graphite on the page is slightly conductive. The drawing is used to play Pacman on a laptop.Hoping this reaches you in good time for some seasonal gifting (or hinting), here’s the Talk Science to Me 2015 list of suggestions for the scientist (or science lover) in your life. (How can we not start with) Star Wars

With the new film coming out for Christmas (oh my!), how could we not start with some official Star Wars merchandise? For starters on Christmas morning, unwrap a Death Star waffle maker for a celestial eggs Benedict, then roll with the Chewbacca can cooler for mid-morning beers, and finish off with an Artoo Tea-Too teapot to accompany the cake.

May the Force be with you.

Invent your world with Makey Makey

Okay, this one was around last