🧪 Science with Sarah: ☕ Tea bag mini rockets

Get a first-hand look at the physics of convection right at home

Learn how to make a mini tea bag rocket at home with Meteorologist Sarah Spivey and her awesome assistant, David Sears!

👉 Watch the video of Sarah’s school science experiment here!

Hello parents, teachers and students! Are you looking for something fun to do at home that has a little bit of science behind it? Learn how to make a mini tea bag rocket at home with Meteorologist Sarah Spivey and her awesome assistant, David Sears!

Be sure to check out GMSA@9 on Wednesdays when Meteorologist Sarah Spivey does the demonstrations and explains the science behind it.

Science with Sarah: Invite KSAT to your school for live science experiments. (KSAT)


  • Tea bags - the kind with a string and a label. These are usually the cheaper types of tea bags
  • Scissors
  • A disposable pie tin or other flat, non flammable surface
  • A long lighter (since we’re using fire, please do this experiment with ADULT SUPERVISION)


  1. Cut a line across the tea bag, just below the staple and string and empty out the contents from the bag
  2. Make a cylinder with the tea bag and place it upright and flat on the pie tin
  3. With the long lighter, light the top of the tea bag cylinder
  4. Watch as the fire burns to the bottom of the tea bag and the ash lifts into the air


This is a great example of convection. Convection is the tendency of hot, less dense air to rise. By lighting the top of the tea bag, you create a cylinder of hot air, which causes the very light ash to rise along with the hot air.

Real world examples of convection include warm air rising and condensing to form clouds and rain.

Another example of convection in the real word involves forecast fires, which create their own convective currents, causing the fires to spread more rapidly.


If you’d like Sarah and David to come to your school and conduct a science experiment live on KSAT, email sciencewithsarah@ksat.com.

Parents and guardians: upload a video of your child performing the activity by clicking here. Send it in and you might see it on GMSA @ 9 a.m.!

About the Authors:

Sarah Spivey is a San Antonio native who grew up watching KSAT. She has been a proud member of the KSAT Weather Authority Team since 2017. Sarah is a Clark High School and Texas A&M University graduate. She previously worked at KTEN News. When Sarah is not busy forecasting, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and cat, and playing music.

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.