You already know how to make a rocket
out of a film canister. Now, you can make a tea bag fly!
What you need:
- Teabag with a string and label
- Non-flammable plate
- Lighter or match
What to do:
Remember - always ask
an adult for help with matches and don't do this experiment near
any flammable materials.
- Remove the staple, label and string from the teabag.
- Pour the tea into a bin.
- Unfold the teabag.
- Turn the teabag into a cylinder - make sure there's a space in
the centre. You can use your finger if that helps.
- Stand the cylinder on one end on a plate. Make sure it's on a
- Use a lighter or match to set the top of the teabag cylinder on
What happens? You should see the ashes of the teabag fly into
This video shows you how to do it - and what should happen:
Why does the teabag fly?
Lighting the top of the teabag cylinder heats the air inside the
cylinder. The air molecules start to move more quickly and spread
out to take up more space. As the air molecules spread out, the air
inside the cylinder becomes less dense. Warm, less dense air rises
above cool, dense air. The ash of the teabag is light and doesn't
require much force to lift it. As the warm, less dense air rises,
it has enough force to lift the ash of the teabag.
Did you know?
Hot air balloons use a similar principle.
The burner beneath the balloon heats the air inside the balloon.
The less dense, heated air in the balloon rises above the denser,
cooler air around the balloon and the balloon flies.