In this awesome science demonstration we will take five bent toothpicks and make them magically
form into a perfect star without touching them. In the process we will learn about capillary action.
Your friends and family will be amazed as the toothpicks rotate into place right before their eyes.


Materials Toothpick Star:

  • Five Wood Toothpicks
  • Water
  • Eye or Medicine Dropper


Watch The Toothpick Star Video
































Process for Toothpick Star

1) Get five new dry wooden toothpicks.

2) Bend the toothpicks in the middle so they snap but are still attached by a little piece of wood
fragment.

3) Arrange the toothpicks on a flat smooth surface so they are roughly in the form of a star. Make
sure the pointed ends of each toothpick are pressed together as close as possible. There should
be a small circle in the middle (see video and pictures for starting arrangement).

4) Add a small amount of water inside the medicine dropper.

5) Use the dropped to place about three drops of water in the center circle of your star formation.

6) Watch the toothpick star glide into into place!!


The Science Behind the Toothpick Star

The toothpicks used in this demonstration are composed of dry wood. When we bend, break , and
crack the toothpicks in the middle, the wood fragments inside compress. Once we add water to the
center circle of the star, capillary action causes the water to be absorbed into the toothpicks. The
water moves inside the dry toothpick from the starting point of the crack or break and continues
along the length to the pointed tips. The capillary action or water traveling inside the toothpick
causes the toothpicks to glide as they straighten. The formation we used creates a neat looking
star.
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