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.
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.