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The catalysts of love

Not sure what to get for your science-inclined partner this Valentine’s Day? The Varsity has you covered
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A Giant Microbe

Win their heart with a plush toy better than any teddy bear in the form of microbe plushes. From chlamydia to salmonella, give your date the furry friend they never wanted but will love just the same. Turns out halitosis is really, really cute! Also, terrible.

Wearable heart monitors

So you can always hear your loved one’s heartbeat. Also, any irregularities.


Impress your loved one by giving them this futuristic wearable — made by a U of T startup — to unlock doors and remember passwords, using their heartbeat as a unique ID. It will keep their information locked up, and give you the key to their heart (unless they use it to lock you out).


For your single friends who have been dying to date a lawyer, this intelligent computer developed by U of T students may just be the perfect match.

3D printed chocolate and teddy bear

A classy twist on the classic gifts. Also, wildly costly and way too much effort.

A romantic evening for two at the U of T planetarium

Stargaze amongst a gaggle of AST101 students and learn all about stars and galaxies from the romantic voice of Professor Michael Reid. Actually, don’t do this. Nobody can compete with Reid.

The electric hybrid prototype

Who needs a romantic stroll through the city or a horse drawn carriage when you can take an environmentally friendly romp around campus in the not at all awkward-looking car-bike built by your peers here at U of T? Technically it only fits one, so your date will probably take the driver’s seat. While you tie yourself to the roof or hang onto the back for dear life.

An IV of coffee

For late night hackathons and study sessions, every science student could use an endless supply of caffeine delivered efficiently through intravenous therapy.

MCAT tutoring

Alternatively, if you truly want to step your game up, help them get an acceptance letter to medical school. Go big.

Periodic table love notes

You should periodically tell the people you love that you love them — it’s a good habit. Ideally, through love notes painstakingly put together using the elements.

Research board of your relationship

You make enough of these for your class projects, so why not dedicate one to your greatest life project? Experiment: you and me. Hypothesis: We’re a great couple. Result: You’re perfect. Then, put it on display in the Medical Science Building and wait to get an A+ grade — in being a casanova. Also, potentially an F grade in the class you were supposed to be making a presentation for.

A tech start-up

Seems like these are all the rage these days. Shouldn’t be too hard to get one together in time for this week, right?

A date at the Ontario Science Centre

Head east to check out the special exhibit BRAIN: The Inside Story with your partner so you can understand the mechanics behind how you truly came to love one another.

A set of beaker shot glasses

That microbiology major will definitely call you back if you make them feel at home outside of the lab with these beaker shot glasses to drink some ethanol out of.

A molecular gastronomy kit

Give your date a reason to cook you a romantic meal with food too small to eat. It’s okay, you can order pizza and watch Netflix afterwards.

A quadcopter you built

There’s no better way to profess your undying love than to build your special someone their very own drone. At the very least, you’ll be putting that mechanical engineering degree to use. Or you can buy one from 7-Eleven.

A periodic table shower curtain

Buy it for the love of some steamy shower science.

A really long word

It just seems like, in the science world, we don’t have enough really long words. Throw some elements together in the name of love and invent a new, sufficiently lengthy term to express your feelings to that special someone the way it ought to be done — highly technically and verbosely, so no average person can possibly understand.

Soil samples

It may seem like the least romantic possible gift, but for students in environmental sciences, actual dirt from the ground is an inexpensive and awe-inspiring Valentine’s treat. Unearth some grass from beneath the snow, shovel some soil into a baggie, and voila — an unsanitary surprise guaranteed to make them say, “wow!” as in, “wow, you actually got me dirt for Valentine’s Day.” Alternatively, go for rocks!

A cadaver

It’s like Operation, but it’s a real corpse. If your special someone is thinking about going into medicine, they probably couldn’t imagine a more romantic Friday night than one spent with wine and exploration of the human body — not yours, sorry. Maybe go for a frog instead because this might be a logistical challenge and, also, illegal.

A scientific calculator

Precision is the key to good science, math, and romance. Sure, they might already have one (and if they don’t, then congratulations, because you just got them the ACTUAL BEST GIFT EVER that will CHANGE THEIR LIFE FOREVER) — but a back-up is always a good idea, and you can customize it with a picture of you gazing at them lovingly taped to it and a message typed on the display screen. The message will probably say “boobs,” because there just aren’t a lot of other options.


If your loved one wants to hit the library to get ahead on that organic chemistry homework and your conversation distracts them, get them earplugs so you can keep talking and they can keep drawing carbon structures. It’s a win-win situation.

Assless lab coat

A simple DIY project to spice up your date. Cut the bum out of your lab coat to take it from sterile to sexy with just a quick snip. Show up to the evening wearing just the coat, and then turn around to reveal the surprise. Your partner is sure to gasp. After that, who knows what will happen? No, really­— we’re not sure how this is going to go for you.

Carbon chains

Jewelry is always an excellent option for V-day, but it can be very expensive, so why not get them carbon chains (to the layperson, sugar) instead? Everyone rocks gold chains these days, but crystalized carbon is a completely untapped market to make your date both a baller and a trendsetter. Also, covered in sugar.

A very convoluted equation

Pages upon pages of x and y, all adding up to you + me = as amicable numbers as could ever be. Do the math (even though it might take you an exorbitant amount of time) — we’re meant to be.