Tea Bag Rockets


Get ready for blast off

Teabags have been blasting off in Room 3.  Everyone  has been learning about hot air and why and how it rises.  A class favourite experiment has been the tea bag rocket.

A Quick Explanation of Room 3’s Scientific Learning

Why does hot air rise?

Air is made up of molecules that are constantly in motion. As air warms up, the molecules start to vibrate and bump into each other, increasing the space around each molecule. Because each molecule uses more space for motion, the air expands and becomes less dense (lighter).

Why does the tea bag rocket blast off and fly so well?

There are three main reasons behind why the tea bag rocket blasts off.  Firstly, when you light the cylinder shape of the teabag, the air inside the cylinder is less dense than the air outside the cylinder. Secondly, the heat from the burning tea bag makes the air above the tea bag less dense. Thirdly, as the tea bag burns it becomes ash and the ash is very light weight.

Lachlan P used his iPad to film one of our tea bag rocket experiments.

Watch video 2020 Watch the tea bag rocket blast off.

Lachlan T suggested trying to light the tea bag at the bottom at the bottom of the cylinder, rather than the top.  When we did this we found the rocket went much higher.


We tried lighting the tea bag at the top and the bottom.

As a class, we integrated our science learning into writing.  The students are learning to expand their writing vocabulary and use a range of adverbs and adjectives. The students used adverbs and adjectives to  describe the movement they saw during the tea bag rocket experiment. 

Everyone brainstormed a list of adverbs and adjectives that could describe movement.



















lightning fast


Following are some of our sentences

Suddenly, the tea bag shot into the sky and then came down like a feather. By Juno

Slowly, the tea bag rocket, zig zagged down. By Annabelle

The tea bag rockets zoomed through the sky, lightning fast. By Travis

Suddenly, the tea bag lifted off into the sky. The tea bags trip back down was swift. By Daniel

The green tea bag rocket drifted down slowly like a feather. By Chloe. 

Rapidly, the tea bag rocket flamed up. By Tom

Each student also used the tea bag rocket experiment to practice writing instructions. They wrote  instructions by starting sentences with imperative or bossy verbs - verbs that tell someone what to do.


This is what you will need to make a tea bag rocket.

Tea Bag Rocket By Baylee

You will need: 


Metal tray



Tea bag


  1. Cut open the tea bag.

  2. Pour the tea into the cup.

  3. Make the tea bag into a cylinder shape.

  4. Stand the tea bag on the tray.

  5. Light the tea bag at the bottom.

  6. Watch the ash fly.


Stand the cylinder on the metal tray.

Tea Bag Rocket By Tessa

To make the tea bag rocket you will need: a cup, metal tray, lighter, tea bags, and scissors.


  1. Firstly, cut the tea bag.

  2. Secondly, pour the tea into the cup.

  3. Thirdly, open the tea bag into a cylinder shape.

  4. Fourthly, stand the tea bag on the metal tray.

  5. Fifthly, light the tea bag from the bottom.

  6. Sixthly, watch the tea bag drift off into the air.


Amber, carefully lighting the rocket.


Bianca having a turn lighting the rocket.

Student Voice

I liked the smoke from the rocket and seeing the ash flying. Baylee

I liked how the rocket flew up; it looked like a real rocket.  Arkayzhia

The classroom smelt like smoke and I was worried the fire alarms might go off. Alex

I thought the rocket looked like a firefly when it was floating up - it was beautiful. Taylor

It was satisfying watching the tea bag melt. Juno

I was surprised that when the ash came down it was not hot. Bianca

I thought the tea bag looked like a parachute when it came down. Annabelle

Next Steps for Learning about Hot Air

Room 3 has also been trying to make a hot air balloon. There was some success with holding a very light plastic bag over candles but the class thinks they can do better. Students have been doing some research around some different ways to make hot air balloons and will have a go at following the instructions they have found on a Youtube video. 


Room 3 attempting to make a hot air balloon.

Curriculum Learning Areas

Science Level 2 Physical World

Students will: Physical Inquiry and Physics Concepts

  • Explore everyday examples of physical phenomena, such as movement, forces, electricity and magnetism, light, sound, waves, and heat.

  • Seek and describe simple patterns in physical phenomena.

Attributed to Steve Spangler Science and Science Kids at Home

Keywords: experiment, tea bag rocket, imperative verbs, adverbs, adjectives

2020 8. Room 3 attempting to make a hot air balloon