This Halloween, go beyond the typical “mad scientist” costume and dress up in something really creative and memorable. If you’re stumped for science Halloween costume ideas, don’t worry. We’ve put together a list of Halloween costumes for science lovers, ranging from famous scientists in history, our favorite science puns, and even a great group costume!
One of the most well-known scientists in popular culture, Nikola Tesla was a 19th-century inventor, electrical engineer, and futurist. He’s also a popular science fiction icon, a figure in steampunk culture, books, movies, and video games.
All you need for a DIY Tesla costume is an old-fashioned suit (tweed or herringbone will do the trick), a white collared dress shirt, a fake mustache, and a slick head of hair parted down the middle. Practice your Tesla pose and smirk ahead of time to get it just right.
When the double helix structure of DNA was discovered in the 1950s, Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins were eventually awarded a Nobel Prize for their work. However, they couldn’t have done it without Rosalind Franklin, a chemist and X-ray crystallographer whose X-ray diffraction images of DNA were essential to their findings.
Pay homage to one of history’s most important scientists with your Halloween costume! Franklin’s famous black-and-white headshot shows her dressed in what looks like a white lab coat and a string of white pearls. Throw in the iconic Photo 41 of DNA, and your Rosalind Franklin costume is complete.
More of the outdoorsy type? Why not dress up as legendary primatologist and anthropologist Dame Jane Goodall? Goodall’s early passion for animals led her to study primate behavior and research chimpanzees. She founded the Jane Goodall Institute, a wildlife and environmental conservation organization, as well as a similarly-minded youth program called Roots & Shoots.
Some of Goodall’s most famous photos show her wearing a khaki safari shirt and shorts or jeans. She usually carried a pair of binoculars, a camera, or a journal. For an extra touch, find a stuffed chimp that you can carry in your pocket or bag.
Astrophysicist and science advocate Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the most popular scientists around. He’s also the head of the world-renowned Hayden Planetarium in New York City, as well as a research associate for the astrophysics department at the American Museum of Natural History. Plus, he’s written a bunch of great books and hosts a pretty awesome podcast, StarTalk.
DeGrasse Tyson is well-known for his excellent geeky ties and vests. Wear an astronomy-themed tie or vest with a white dress shirt and suit. Add a fake mustache and carry some of his books about space, and you’re set.
If famous scientists from history aren’t your thing, why not dress up as your favorite science subject instead? Here are a few ideas!
Get punny by dressing up as a cation, or a positively charged ion that becomes so by losing an electron. Don some cat ears and a tail, and paint some whiskers around your nose. Make a wearable sign of your favorite element as a +1 cation. For example, a neutral sodium atom with 11 electrons becomes a +1 sodium cation with 10 electrons, and you’d write Na+ on your sign.
If you need an easy group costume idea, we’ve got one that’s perfect for chemistry geeks. The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is, from 0 to 14. You often see the pH scale arranged in a rainbow of colors, with acidic substances being red, neutrals being green, and basic substances blue or violet. Grab some plain tee shirts in red, green, and blue or violet. Label each one as basic, neutral, or acidic using iron-on letters.
This is technically a math lovers costume, but we couldn’t help include this punny and easy costume idea! Using iron-on or adhesive black felt, cut out a large pi symbol (π). Iron or adhere it to an orange shirt, sweatshirt, or dress. Ta da! You’re now dressed as pumpkin pi. You can even level up your costume by adding green felt to the collar, and green felt leaves as a hair accessory.
Remember to be creative! Figuring out and putting together a unique Halloween costume is just as fun as wearing it. Why not show off your love of science by dressing as your favorite planet, chemical compound, fictional scientist character, or star constellation?
At Stratford School, we’re committed to the education and care of our students, but we also know how to have fun! Join us at our next event where you can meet our teachers, explore classrooms, and have a little holiday fun!