Greetings fellow astrophiles (and fellow holiday shoppers)!
From the unsolicited-why-didn’t-I-think-of-that-place-sooner kudos department:
I am in that 30-to-40 range where many of my friends have kids in that 5-to-10 range. Spending my days in the hard sciences and very aware of the issues surrounding S.T.E.M. education in the U.S., I make it a point (when not specifically sent a request) to buy presents that fool those children into learning about the world around them (although I find they are generally much hipper to fun science gifts than that). One might imagine this to be a considerable task given the preponderance of molded plastic figurines at most of the local toy stores. I am pleased to report that the situation is far less dire in Syracuse than one might imagine, due in very large part to the good people at The MOST.
The MOST Gift Shop, including 4.5 billion years of toys.
If you’ve been to The MOST for TACNY Jr. Cafe lectures, the old NASA-funded Space Science Series of years past (we hardly knew ye!), IMAX movies, any of the space science exhibits downstairs, or just to hang out near the olfactory display, you’ve invariably passed through the MOST Gift Shop on your way out. If you haven’t yet, make sure to stop and take a look around in the near future!
Science books specifically geared for kindergarten through middle school, minerals of all kinds, science tools and instructional toys galore, one really neat soda (or pop, whatever) bottle science demo set (viewable HERE), construction kits of all kinds, stuffed birds (and their associated bird calls), space mission models, and a wide assortment of other science demos, how-to guides, your requisite combo binos/magnifying-glass/compass/mirror/leaf-destroyer (you bet I have one!) techie knick-knacks, and much more. The damage I did to my shopping list will not only put a bunch of developing minds into overdrive, but it also supports The MOST (which I call a significant win-win).
And if that weren’t all enough, I even managed to buy a small piece of the Berlin Wall (and there are pieces left at a ridiculously low price for you history buffs).
Long-short, if you’re still looking for gift ideas and want to keep someone’s brain grinding away during winter break, do consider a stop at The MOST.