Make a tea bag rocket science experiment | Fizzics Education

Make a tea bag rocket

Make a tea bag rocket

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

A tea bag that is stapled-A heat pressed sealed bag will not work

Matches (therefore an adult is a must!

Non-flammable plate

Tea bag rocket science experiment - materials needed
1 Tea bag rocket science experiment - materials needed

Do this experiment away from your curtains or anything else flammable. SAFETY FIRST!

2 Unfolding a cut tea bag

Cut the top of the bag to remove the staple.

3 Pouring out tea leaves from a tea bag onto a plate

Pour the tea leaves onto the plate and flatten them out.

4 Empty tea bag cylinder standing on a tea leaves on a plate

Open up the tea bag so that it forms a cylinder.

5 Lighting a opened tea bag cylinder with a lit match

Place the cylinder on top of the ‘Tea Leaf Launchpad, ‘the non-flammable plate’ standing upright, like a column.

6 Tea bag rocket science experiment - burning tea bag

WITH AN ADULT light the top of the cylinder.

Do you know why hot air rises though?

Hot air rises! You have just created a convection current of air moving inwards, towards the burning tea
bag, and rising up as a hot air column. The rocket could only rise once the tea bag became lighter
(smoke has weight too!). Anyone who has seen a hot air balloon is quite aware of this basic principle.

Do you know why hot air rises though?

Heating air adds more energy to the air molecules that make air up. These molecules with extra energy move around very quickly and become more separate from each other than in the cold, low energy, air. When you separate molecules you effectively have a less dense substance.

The rules within buoyancy make less dense substances rise above more dense substances… this makes the less dense hot air rise above the cold air. The process keeps working because the cooler surrounding air keeps coming towards the light and warming up. This is a simple demonstration of convection currents that exist in thunderstorms and ocean currents.

Put simply, a convection current is the transfer of heat energy by the movement or flow of a substance from one position to another.

Learn more!

From sunspots and asteroids to black holes & supernovae, the Stars & Planets and the Earth, Sun & Moon workshops have your unit on space covered!
Get in touch with FizzicsEd to find out how we can work with your class.

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