Motherlode of cool science toys

The Middlesex University Teaching Resources shop sells all manner of awesome science toys for kids of all ages. Right now the front door is selling highly light-scattering nano-material, paper made from elephant poo, elasticated balls in mesh bags, a wide variety of science exploration kits, a hydrogel that expands to form artificial snow and many other bits of assorted nift.

The material is a cast thermo-setting resin with extraordinary memory properties. Most polymers have some 'memory' but this one can be stretched by up to 200% and still remember its original condition.

When heated above 70°C, it softens, and can be shaped by stretching, bending, blowing etc. When cool it retains its new shape, but if the material is re-heated to 70°C, it reverts to its flat sheet condition.

Sheet size is approximately 3mm thick x 100mm x 150mm.

Link (Thanks, Yishay!)


  1. I just wanted to mention that the link you posted still had your items in the checkout box. Not a big deal.

    Cool looking site though. It brings back memories of the stores at the end of science museums, full of grow-your-own-rock kits and the plastic bits that could make tornados inbetween two bottles of soda.

  2. I love it, it sounds like some kind of grown up silly putty (for those not in the know, it is the play dough you could shape and get it to print newspaper ink; it usually came a package in the shape of an egg).
    Question is, will you be able to make it bounce like silly putty?

  3. The artificial snow gel is pretty common. I’ve seen it sold at shopping mall kiosks.

  4. Shipping costs out of the UK are prohibitively expensive, $70 just to ship half a kilogram. Any suggestions for a similar store stateside?

  5. There’s some nifty stuff there, but I’m a little hesitant to create an account, and not just because of the outrageous shipping costs to the US.

    The first time I clicked the link, it showed me already logged in as D**** P****** from Zurich. It allowed me access to all of his account information. I logged him out, but the next time I clicked the link from boingboing, it showed that I already had an item in my cart. What the hell??? Doesn’t look like the site is all that secure.

  6. Isn’t the internet grand?

    When I was a kid I loved going to museums. Partly because I’m a geek and love museums, but mostly because the gift shop at the end was the only place you could get this sort of cool stuff. Now I can sit here and order it from work with nary a “Science of the Earth’s Crust” display in sight.

    Hopefully it doesn’t lead to a down-turn in museum patrons…

  7. the link you posted still had your items in the checkout box

    Note to self – be careful when suggesting links to Extreme Restraints.

  8. Here’s a source in the states for the cool stuff found at museum type gift stores. They sell consumer direct too. Cool Stuff Express The site has a lot of the things like instant snow, science kits. Hope this helps.

  9. For the us there’s also Edmun Scientific, altough I must admit it’s lost some of it’s quality since I was a kid

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