Tea Composition

Researching the living soil - a simple method
You and your students are invited to participate in this practical, real-world research project that evaluates decomposition and its relation to local soil type, properties and environments, using simply, a tea bag.

Our researchers need the help of students and teachers to develop a state-of-the-art digital map of soil health across New South Wales.

The Tea Bag Index provides a simple method for students to conduct this research.

Science, mathematics and agriculture

With lesson plans designed by teachers, for teachers, students in Stages 3, 4 and 5 will be engaged in practical activities including field tests, laboratory style experiments, classroom analyses and digital reporting.

The project and optional extension lessons have specific and integrated links to the learning areas of science, mathematics and agriculture. 

A field test kit, educational resources and lesson plans will be provided by the University of Sydney for teachers and students.

What’s involved?

Commencing in August/September each year, this project is able to fit the needs and time commitments of teachers.

Educators may elect to participate in the study for as little as three months, however, students will be exposed to a more valuable experience if they choose to participate in the full length of the project.

You can sign-up your class(es) for the Tea Composition project 2020 now.

You will then be contacted in July 2020 to confirm your participation, and be mailed your tea-kits for your class for you to implement the 90 day program yourself in the September-December Spring period.

2021 program

Sign-up your school or class to be mailed tea burying kits, instructions and teaching resources to bury during the September-November 2021 burying period this year.

Each tea burying kit can cater up to 30-40 students and the tea experiment must be buried for 90-day undisturbed in two locations around your school campus (or other location).

  • Register for kits
  • Registrations close 13 August 2021 to allow for postage & delivery time. Schools can receive a maximum of 4-6 kits depending on kit demand.

Kits and the program are free to participate in and your experimental data will support our citizen science soil health research project.

Find out more information about the project.