Tried It

Toothpick Star Experiment

I saw this pop up on Facebook a few days ago and thought it looked like a fun little experiment to try.  All it requires is a few toothpicks and water.  According to the video I watched all you need to do is set the toothpicks in a snowflake type shape with all the points to the center, then add a drop of water and all of a sudden it magicallly transforms into a 5 point star.

I have to admit I was skeptical about this one working.  The video I watched didn’t have any sound, or advice on how to set it up, so I winged it.

I arranged the toothpicks like I had seen in the video on a plate (not pictured) and tried putting the water in the center.  Nothing happened to the toothpicks, except they got wet.  Boring!  So, I thought maybe my cutting board would work better.

The first picture shows the toothpicks just like I put them on the plate.  They are still a bit damp from the first disappointing attempt.  I added water to the center again, and as you can see the cutting board just soaked up the water.

I really wanted this experiment to work, so I looked up more videos.  None of them had any words or ideas, just silent videos.  A different one I saw showed breaking the toothpicks halfway, so they were at right angles, and then forming them in a snowflake shape like this.


20170329_130938 (1)

I noticed that the water in the videos I watched puddled up like a raindrop in the middle of the star.  Mine was not doing that.  It was just running all over underneath the toothpicks and making a mess. I thought that perhaps the surface I was putting the toothpicks on was the reason it wasn’t working.  I had a ziplock bag nearby, so I grabbed that and set the toothpicks on it.

Attempt number 3.  I used the dropper and put the water in the middle.  This time something happened!  The toothpicks started moving.  First together, and then apart into a 5 point star.  Sweet!  If you’d like to see it in action check out the video I posted on our Facebook page.  Toothpick Star Experiment

My final thoughts:  This is a really fun and easy project!  If you have toothpicks on hand, and some cute curious kiddos nearby, definitely give it a try.

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