Guest contribution by Lauren Geschel.

My name is Lauren Geschel and I have been an educator in Philadelphia for 16 years: A high school English teacher, a debate coach, a soccer coach, an Outward Bound facilitator. Teaching has always been an integral part of my life.

I have also always been a tea drinker, and this past summer, after being annoyed by having nowhere to put my teabag, came up with an invention called the “Teatrap”- which is basically a recyclable receptacle that attaches to one’s take-out tea container and gives the tea drinker a place to store the teabag (for later use or disposal). I told my students about my invention, and lo and behold, one of my students wrote something called the “Teatrap Rap” about my product.

So impressed with their creativity, we decided to tape a rap video with equipment we received from a grant. Students helped to create, edit, and starred in the following production:

A percentage of my profits goes towards an organization that funds extra-curricular after-school activities for students in Philadelphia. For the past several years, I have worked closely with ASAP (After-School Activities Partnerships) as a debate coach for their Summer Debate Academy, and as a coach in their Philadelphia Debate League. ASAP is so important because they are a non-profit who supports funding debate, Scrabble, drama, and chess programs for kids throughout the city. They are even helping to fundraise to send my two students to Nationals, who qualified to compete this year in Public Forum debate!

So far, I have created a prototype, sold them at conventions, filed for a patent pending and opened up the LLC “The Catcher in the Tea”. Right now, I am doing a Kickstarter in order to get my business up and running, so I can finish my patent and so I can create a sustainable, non-disposable silicone Teatrap. Check out my Kickstarter and my website for more information.

Support me, Teatraps, and the youth of Philadelphia!