cart Shopping Cart cart(0)

Make a tea bag rocket

You will need:

  • Tea bag that is stapled…a heat pressed seal will not work
  • Matches (therefore an adult is a must!
  • Non-flammable plate



  1. Do this one away from your curtains or anything else flammable... SAFETY FIRST!
  2. Cut the top of the bag so to remove the staple.
  3. Pour the tea leaves onto the plate and flatten them out.
  4. Open up the tea bag so that it forms a cylinder.
  5. Place the cylinder on top of the 'tea leaf launch pad'.
  6. WITH AN ADULT light the top of the cylinder.  
Be Amazing Book Front Cover; Ben Newsome, teacher & founder of Fizzics Education. Be Amazing -how to teach science the way primary kids love
Be Amazing!
How to teach science, the way primary kids love

Read more about Be Amazing

Hot air rises! You 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.

Want more ideas for teaching science?

Subscribe to the FizzicsEd Podcast!

Listen to FizzicsEd on Apple Podcasts

FizzicsEd podcast available on Stitcher

Join our newsletter for more science teaching thoughts & ideas

Join the Fizzics newsletter

  • Learn about forces & motion!
  • Easy & safe to use

    science kits for sale
  • Learn more about our solar system
  • Years 3 to 6
read morebook now

>100 Free Science Experiments on this site!

Coloured shadows
  • Experiments to colour your class!
  • Easy & fun
read more
skeleton and student
  • Make fake blood & more!
  • Biology made simple
read more
electricity experiments
  • Circuit science for kids
  • Cheap materials found easily
read more
Sugar and skittles dissolving in water experiment
  • Creative chemical concoctions!
  • Safe and engaging for kids
read more

School Science Visits: 

  • Highly engaging & curriculum-linked
  • Additional Teacher Support Resources
  • Professional visits in-class or via video conference
  • Both Primary School & High School science incursions
Call 1300 856 828 or use this form to discuss or make a show booking for your school!

Love Science?

Signup to our fortnightly email! Learn more

Contact us

1300 856 828

Unit 10/55 Fourth Ave
Blacktown, NSW 2148, Australia
facebook-icon Apple Podcast Icon  twitter-icon
linkedin-icon youtube-icon   pinterest-icon