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The Magical Toothpick Wand

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Activity Overview

Young magicians will have fun wowing their friends and family with this Magical Toothpick Magic Trick that uses the science of surface tension to astonish audiences of all ages. This experiment requires a little advance preparation before the performance so that the trick will go off without a hitch.

Materials Needed

  • 7 toothpicks
  • a clean pan of shallow water
  • Liquid Dish Detergent

How To Do It

Pre Magic Preparation

  1. Dip one of the toothpicks in dish soap and set aside
  2. Clean and dry a small pan and fill with water
  3. Prior to performing this experiment for others, practice it a few times first, as making the pentagon can be challenging until you get the hang of it.

Performing the Trick

  1. Arrange the 5 toothpicks that have not come in contact with the dish soap on top of the water.Be certain to overlap the corners of the pentagon.
  2. Have your audience carefully observe the pentagon and explain that you have carefully created this pentagon out of toothpicks.
  3. Ask an audience member to attempt to break apart the pentagon simply by dipping a toothpick in the center of the water inside the pentagon. This will not be successful.
  4. Now, cast a magic spell on the toothpick that you have prepped ahead of time with dish soap and explain that your magic spell has given your toothpick powers that will break apart the pentagon with one dip.
  5. Dip the now dried soap ended toothpick into the exact center of the pentagon and the toothpicks should fly apart.

Scientific Explanation

The soap molecules break the surface tension of the water and send ripples outward toward the toothpicks and the ripples and soap also break apart the surface tension that was holding the toothpicks together in the water.

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