Engineering is a challenging major for anyone to take on in college. There are a dozen different engineering avenues fellow nerds can decide to pursue: mechanical, electrical, architectural, biomolecular, biomedical, and many more. By picking engineering as your career path, you are committing to long nights, endless studying, and the best same-minded friends you could ever ask for. Since I myself am an engineering student, I know that not everyone gets our science jokes or our passions. So, I hope these gifts for engineering students provide a little bit of insight into our goofy interests. Also, it’s hard to be comical when talking about super bland science- y things so stick with me on this one.
Gifts for Architectural or Civil Engineers
Architectural and Civil Engineering focuses on the technological aspects of planning, designing, constructing, and operating structures in specific environmental systems. In other words, they get to design and build buildings, bridges, and so much more. One of my best friends is studying to be an Architectural Engineer and she suggested these gifts for engineering students with this specific interest.
- Drafting Pencils
This branch of engineering requires a lot of drawing and sketching. In order to make the best and most professional drawing, you need multiple different types of pencils. Graphite pencils are amazing because they help a lot with shading. The letter code on the pencil tells you how hard or soft the graphite of that pencil is so this helps to determine how dark or light the line will be. Specific mechanical pencils are good for fine point and thin line sketches.
- National Geographic 3D Architecture Puzzle
Puzzles are always a good way to pass time and to get the brain gears moving. From the Taj Mahal to the Colosseum, you can choose so many famous structures from around the world to recreate and learn about. Each puzzle also comes with a booklet that talks about the masterpiece being built!
- Drafting Table with Stool
Bending over a desk to write or draw for long periods of time is what kills my back. All that leaning over makes me look like a hunchback at the end of the day. Since Architectural and Civil Engineers have to do a lot of lettering and drafting, they need a desk that is ergonomic for them. This drafting table provides a tilted surface that is perfect for long nights of drafting. Plus, it comes with a comfy stool!
- Built: The Hidden Stories Behind our Structures
I always appreciate stories told from the perspective of someone who has experienced the event themselves. They provide real insight and amazing explanations to topics that can be somewhat confusing and hard to imagine yourself in. That’s exactly the idea behind the book Built: The Hidden Stories Behind our Structures. Roma Agrawal, a female structural engineer, writes this book to help readers understand the stories behind some of the greatest structural feats history has ever known. Great for any aspiring civil or architectural engineer!
Gifts for Biomolecular or Chemical Engineers
These gifts for engineering students are for all the mad scientists in the world. Although I don’t know of anyone close to me that is in this field, I do know that it requires a lot of long days in the lab. With biomolecular and chemical engineering majors being very science and chemistry heavy, its time to button up your lab coat and get to experimenting!
- OMAX Compound Microscope
Anyone remember using a microscope your junior year of high school? Well, I do. I remember how awesome it was to see some of those things so magnified, like an onion skin! This specific make of microscope was voted 2018’s best compound microscope and is perfect for students who study itty-bitty things.
- Molecular Gastronomy Kit
This kit brings science into the kitchen! You can turn your food into caviar-like morsels, lemon clouds, chocolate spaghetti, and even balsamic vinaigrette balls while also indulging in some chemistry fun. How about some chocolate balls for your ice cream!
- DIY Bacterial Genome Engineering CRIPSR Kit
In the biomolecular engineering world, CRISPR is something that has been introduced as an idea that can revolutionize genetic editing. This kit provides the tools needed to gain a better understanding of Cas9 DNA editing and how CRISPR really can change the world for the better.
- Molecule Jewelry
Being a woman in the engineering field, I have noticed that not all gifts are always geared, or color coordinated for the feminine audience. Its hard being a girl in a swarm of guys, so us woman have to stick together. This is why I loved this idea of the estrogen molecule as a necklace. YOU GO GIRL! YOU GO BE THAT SMART BIOMOLECULAR OR CHEMICAL ENGINEER!
- Coffee Chemistry Glass Mug
Although mugs are sometimes stereotypical when it comes to gift giving, I thought this mug was so cool and fun to look at. It’s a clear mug decorated with pictures of the chemical makeup of coffee. What more would a chemistry nerd want with their morning cup of joe?
- Organic Chemistry Model Kit
One of the most important skills in any chemistry and biology class is to understand what things look like on a molecular level. I know for me; it was hard to grasp that something that small could look like that. This kit helps tremendously with this skill and helps students build molecules! Or they could be cool new Legos for any kid in your life!
Gifts for Biomedical Engineers
I asked one of my friends, who is studying to be a Biomedical Engineer, what their main reason for choosing that major was. They said, “All Biomedical Engineers want to do is help people.” With a mix of studying medicine and engineering, they sure do have their hands full! Here are some gifts for engineering students to help spark their love of biomedicine.
- Anatomy Coloring Book
I remember being in elementary school and loving coloring. Although I was absolutely terrible at it (I could never stay in the lines), it never failed to amuse me and teach me. This coloring book is super helpful for studying anatomy and everything about the human body.
- Heart Specimen Coasters
Regular cork coasters are so boring nowadays. You want to sit your cup on something with a little excitement. Maybe some diagrams of the different layers of the human heart, perhaps? I don’t know about you, but that sounds perfect to me!
- Framed Bone Screw Print
I think that the way you decorate your room or home says a lot about you. With this awesome bone screw print, you can show off your love for your field of study, and leave guests interested.
- Bacteria Pins
I have always loved people that have buttons and pins on their bags or coats. They add so much color and personality to any fabric! I have one on my jean jacket of my favorite Disney character, Pascal the Chameleon from Tangled. These made to order bacteria pins provide a perfect goofy accessory to any scientist lab coat or backpack. There’s no way that whoever purchases one of these won’t be getting compliments!
Gifts for Computer or Electrical Engineers
People that go into computer or electrical engineering are usually the ones that have been fixing things like remote control helicopters, game consoles, and computers since they were kids. They are extra impressive, that’s for sure. These gifts for engineering students provide entertainment for all their technological endeavors.
- Atari Retro Handheld Gold Console
Let’s go back in time to the 1980’s where neon scrunchies, malls, great pop music, and the beloved Atari game console was all anyone could talk about. This Atari Retro Handheld Gold Console is definitely a blast from the past! It comes with 2 wireless controllers and multiple games, old and new titles. I totally want this for myself.
- Electronic DIY Digital Clock Kit
Hands-on activities are always more fun when it comes to learning and practicing new skills. Soldering is an important skill to have when wanting to become any type of engineer, but especially when wanting to become a Computer or Electrical Engineer. This kit provides hands-on experience with soldering and circuitry while also gaining a cool new digital clock!
- iFixit Pro Tech Tool Kit
Fixing electronics and electrical components require a lot of non-conventional, tiny tools. This kit provides anyone with exactly the tools they need to fix an electronic item, whether it be a phone or a computer.
- LED Game Console DIY Kit
Just like the digital clock kit, this game console kit helps practice circuitry and soldering skills while also producing a super fun item! With this simple game console, the user can install and play Tetris, gluttonous snake, space shooter, and race cars!
Gifts for Software Engineers
What does a day in the life of a software engineer look like? Coding, maybe some gaming, more coding, some snacks (preferably chips), coding again, and sleep. And then, they do it all over again then next day. Of course, this is a bit of an exaggeration, but one thing is for sure, they do love solving problems by programming. Here are some gifts for engineering students who love to code!
- Pictek Gaming Mouse
One of the main essentials for software engineers is a good quality mouse. This Pictek mouse is ergonomic, which means that it provides proper support for the users’ hand and wrist. It also provides DPI buttons to speed up or slow down the movement of the mouse across the screen. Sounds like the perfect gift to me!
- Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
My boyfriend is a programmer, and something I notice he always has on him is his headphones. His music always helps him get in the zone and get his work done. So, something I think would help get rid of distractions are these Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones. They have amazing sound and are wireless so the user can connect their music through Bluetooth.
- Rubber Duck
Yes, you read this right. A Rubber Duck. Apparently, people who code place this rubber duck on their desk as a little friend. Whenever they have a bug in their code, they talk it through with the rubber duck. They go through their code, line by line, explaining it to the duck so they can understand and solve the problem in their code. This method is called “rubber ducking” and is widely used in the programming world. Crazy, right?
Gifts for Mechanical or Aerospace Engineers
Saving the best for last, these fields of engineering use physics and mechanics to solve problems. I currently am studying Mechanical Engineering with a hope of one day working with a space program, so, sorry if I sound a bit biased! Here are some gifts for engineering students I have found super interesting and helpful for Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering.
- Stirling Steam Engine Motor
I think this item is so cool. You sit this on top of a cup of hot coffee and the steam creates pressure that causes the piston to rise and fall. This begins the circular motion of the driving wheel and that is what ultimately runs whatever machine the motor is in. Since it’s on a hot beverage, you know that the beverage is cool enough to drink when the motor slows down. Pretty cool way to know you won’t burn your tongue!
- UGEARS Wooden 3D Puzzles
These past few months in quarantine have been filled with puzzles and crafts to try to pass time. These UGEARS 3D wooden puzzles have definitely been a life saver, and did I mention they are just so awesome? Not only do you have an awesome mechanical wooden model after you finish making it, but you get the satisfaction of being able to build it, piece by piece. The website has so many different puzzles to choose from, but this train so far is my favorite.
- Arduino Uno Stater Kit
Some may argue that this could be more of a computer, electrical, or even a software engineer gift. But in my experience in my first year of school, this 100% has taught me the most in regard to Mechanical Engineering. This Kit comes with an Arduino Uno and multiple different circuitry and motion tools that help you build, connect, and code lots of different mechanical systems. I personally coded through MATLAB, but the Uno is adaptable to many different coding languages including C, C++, Java, and Python. This is a perfect gift for anyone who wants to be a well-rounded engineering student but mostly get into mechatronics.
- LEGO NASA Apollo Saturn V Model
I honestly don’t think anyone outgrows Legos, especially someone who loves engineering. This Apollo Saturn V Model is probably one of the coolest Lego models to date, and when completed it stands a little over 3 feet tall! Sorry, have to go wipe my face cause I’m drooling too much.
- Galaxy Crystal Ball Night Lamp
As you can tell, space has always interested me. Having something like this Galaxy Crystal Ball Night Lamp next to my bed would make me the happiest girl in the world. You can change the colors to what find most relaxing and have a good night’s sleep.
- Physics “I Have Potential” Mug
I’m just going to say it. This mug made me laugh for probably 10 minutes. You should buy it; the physics nerds will laugh too.
Gifts for Any Engineer
If you’re not exactly sure what field of engineering someone might go into, or just looking for something that any science geek would want, here are some gifts for you!
- Comgrow Ender 3 3D Printer
3D printers are always a valuable tool used when bringing engineering ideas to life. You can fix broken things by making and replacing parts, or create something totally new and build it yourself! The ideas are endless, and any engineer can use 3D printers to their advantage.
- ANKER Nebula Capsule – Smart Mini Projector
Whether it be for homework or Netflix, this smart mini projector is a perfect for a college engineering student living in a small space. They can take it off their shelf and transform their room into a movie theater for study groups or binging tv shows on the weekends. I totally want one for my room next year!
- Handheld Brain Teaser Puzzles
What engineer doesn’t like puzzles? Their future profession is basically one giant puzzle solving game. That’s why these brain teaser puzzles are perfect to get the gears moving in anyone’s brain. There are 6 different levels to choose from, so pick wisely and try to solve!
- Self- Sustaining Ecosphere
You can sit this on your desk and watch mother nature do its thing. Basically, this enclosed sphere has an ecosystem that sustains itself for a long time! Plus, you get little friends you can chat with during your workday.
- USB Clock Fan
Plug this fan into the USB port of your laptop and it magically turns into a clock! Adjust the neck to aim it in the perfect position to cool you off.
- Weird Rubik’s Cube
Regular Rubik’s Cubes are meant to stay in the 80’s. The new version takes it into this decade with added fun and challenge. This one comes in a two pack with Windmill Puzzle Cube and YJ Axis V2 Fluctuation Angle Cube.
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Contributing Editor: Olivia Torrey