So, you’ve had a letter home announcing there’s going to be a ‘Dress as a Scientist’ day and you’ve got no idea where to start! Of course, if you’ve got the time and your budget allows, you can pick up some great costumes from online retailers such as Amazon and Ebay. However, it’s more fun, economical and eco-friendly to make a great costume with things you’ve probably already got at home. Whether you want to go with the traditional ‘lab coat and goggles’ look or something a bit different, we’ve put together a few ideas to help.
What do people think when you say scientist? Lab coats of course! If you happen to have one great, you’re half way there! But if not, an oversized white shirt or T-shirt, perhaps from an older sibling, would do just as well. You can draw on a T-shirt to make it look like a lab coat with collar, pockets and maybe a few random stains! Now all you need to do is accessorise. Carry a clip board, wear some goggles and put a pen and pencil in a top pocket. Have your young scientist make an identity badge for themselves that you can make into a lanyard.
Although a lab coat is the most obvious way to identify a scientist, actually most scientists look pretty ordinary. Many go about their work in everyday clothes but that wouldn’t make for a very exciting dressing up day! However, you don’t need a lab coat to dress as a scientist; carry a cuddly dolphin to be a marine biologist, wear a boiler suit to be a forensic scientist or bring a toy dinosaur to be a palaeontologist. Have a look what you have in your dressing up box already; remember astronauts are scientists and many doctors are too. Or how about having a think about some famous scientists and dressing up as one of them? Got a Victorian dress lying about after ‘Dress as a Victorian’ day? A perfect costume to be Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer! Turn them into Jane Goodall, a primatologist who studied chimpanzees, by having them wear shorts, a shirt, walking boots, having binoculars round their neck and holding a cuddly chimp. Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, can be created with a smart suit and either carrying a light bulb or making one out of paper mache and a balloon. For Isaac Newton, wear a long grey wig and carry an apple! For Galileo, astronomer, wear a long dark robe with a belt tied in the middle and carry a telescope. There are so many scientists that have done really important work, do some research, dress up with clues and have fun asking your friends to work out which scientist you are! Look up Katherine Johnson, Rosalind Franklin, Fazlur Rahman Khan, Alessandro Volta or think of a scientific discovery or invention and find out who the scientist was.
Finally, one of my favourite ideas for dressing up is to be a scientific concept or idea, not a scientist. I’ve seen kids come to school being a black hole, the solar system, DNA, gravity, the digestive system, an X ray, a rainbow, chemistry, the weather and evolution. Most of these started out as a white T-shirt, lots of felt tips and some great ideas. My favourite ever one though was a T-shirt covered in science questions, everyone had fun trying to work out the answers.
We hope we’ve given you some useful tips to make it fun and stress free to put a costume together. We’d really love to see pictures of your young scientists in their outfits, you can share with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and show us how creative you’ve been!