Stop Kids' Brain Drain

The Heavenly Hair Kit is another product great for girls who think science is a "boy's" subject. It's an introduction to doing experiments -- a little biology, a little chemistry, but it's all about hair. They'll find out why hair's curly, why it's red, why we need to wash it (of course that might be a good lesson for the boys to learn, too). It also teaches kids how to make their own shampoo and conditioner -- although you might want to test it out on the family dog before lathering into your own tresses.

More Science

'The Elements: A Visual Exploration' by Theodore Gray

$13.99/$9.99, ages 12+, Available on iPad/iPhone 4

Not only is "The Elements: A Visual Exploration" visually spectacular, with more than 500 images you can rotate and move, it's well-written. There's even the song "The Elements," by Tom Lehrer, which you might remember from your own chemistry class. Ideal for the student who wants to brush up on or get ahead in physics or chemistry -- and have fun at the same time.

Web Extra Pick: The Dangerous Book for Boys (Essential Electronics and Classic Chemistry)

Thames and Kosmos, ages 8+

Based on the popular book, "The Dangerous Book for Boys," these science sets give boys (and girls) classic, hands-on experience with basic scientific principles. For example, in the electronics set, your child can learn to build his or her own circuit board.

Web Extra Pick: The Young Scientists Club

All ages depending on kit

If you have a budding Marie Curie or Albert Einstein at home, The Young Scientists Club is a great way to keep them learning. You can order one kit at a time, or you can order a subscription. Sign up for the kits you want, and you can have them delivered once or twice a month. Kits cover everything from earth sciences (garden kits) to animal science (animal tracking kits) to astronomy.

Web Extra Pick: 'NASA App' by NASA Ames Research Center

Free, Available on iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad

If you've ever wondered what the Cassini spacecraft has been up to since completing its initial mission to Saturn in 2008, the NASA app can tell you. Updated daily, the NASA app is a treasure trove of launch information, telescopic images and galactic news for astronomy enthusiasts.



Workman, ages 10+, good for older kids

Perfect for kids 7 and older, Bananagrams is a fun way to play with words. Think of it as a fast-moving, competitive "Boggle" meets a crossword puzzle, with a dash of "Scrabble." It can be played with only two players or with a group. Kids can hone their spelling and vocabulary skills with this game.

The Sesquipedalian Word Game

Innovative Kids, ages 12+

Sesquipedalian is like charades and "Pictionary" but with definitions of words like tachyphasia (extremely rapid speech). Players have to complete challenges like drawing or acting out the words while other players guess the word. And if your student has a list of vocab words they need to learn over the summer, you can use that list to play the game. Sesquipedalian is great for kids aged 12+ and it comes with other word game suggestions too.

'iAssociate' by Fredrik Wahrman

$1.99, ages 12+, Available on iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch

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