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The Amazing Toothpick and Nickel Trick

In & Outdoor Free
Coin Tricks
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Activity Overview

If you are looking for an activity to quell boredom, try out this trick which walks a fine line between Magic and Science. The Amazing Nickel and Toothpick Trick uses balance, friction and static electricity to create a fascinating feat where the toothpick, which is balancing on the nickel, spins from the force of the static electricity from the balloon. You must use plastic for this experiment. We tried it with glass and did not get any result.

Materials Needed

  • A clear plastic cup or container
  • A nickel
  • A toothpick
  • A balloon that is blown up and tied.

How to Do It

  1. Balance a nickel on its side on a flat surface.
  2. Place a toothpick flat across it so that it is balancing on the half way point of the toothpick. You can measure and mark the center with a dot if it would be more helpful.
  3. Place a clear cup over it.
  4. Take your inflated balloon and rub it on a surface to charge it with static electricity.
  5. Approach the cup with the balancing nickel and toothpick inside while holding the static charged balloon. The toothpick should spin around and around without even being touched.

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