Tustin High School InvenTeam

Tustin, CA
Device to remove gum from school floors

The Tustin High School InvenTeam invented a device to remove chewing gum from sidewalks and other concrete surfaces. The device incorporates an electric heating element to heat the gum, a biodegradable chemical solvent to loosen the bond between the gum and concrete, and a brass brush to mechanically remove the gum without damaging the concrete. Each piece of gum is removed in 30 seconds. The device has a similar form factor as a household vacuum cleaner and it draws up to 275 amps from an AC wall outlet.


May 20, 2017

With about 13 days left before we ship our prototype, the InvenTeam is meeting everyday after school and weekends to finish it by cutting, soldering, modeling and assembling all the components together. All of our components work separately and our advisor, Mr. Hernandez is pulling his hair out due to the stress. However, we are confident we can finish this by our goal date.

May 7, 2017

With 5 weeks left to go, we are on our way to completing our fully functioning prototype. Our heating elements for our first component are complete. Our second component, the liquid chemical storage is finished as well. For our third component, the mechanical abrasion, we are putting on the finishing touches. Our next step now is wiring for our prototype which proves to be a difficult task but the team is confident we can do it. Completing our 3D modelings is also a task needed to be done.

April 23, 2017

The Tustin High School Inventeam was honored to have met with California's 45th congressional district U.S. representative Mimi Walters for a quick tour of our T-Tech Acedemy shop as well as showcase our gum removal machine. 

April 7, 2017

The Tustin High School MIT InvenTeam is proud to be awarded a certificate of recognition by the City of Tustin in February. The team was invited to present their presentation in the City Council Office in front of the Tustin Mayor and other Council Members. This was a great platform to showcase our progress as well as promote our GoFundMe page.

March 5, 2017

Last Wednesday, February 22, our team held their Mid-Grant Technical Review in our very own Little Theater. It’s safe to safe to say that the event was a major success. The team met hours before the start of the presentation to set up our banners, tri-fold posters as well as our prototype. Outside, we had a table full of refreshments and snacks as well as our business cards. Many praised our cute and colorful banners and business cards.

February 16, 2017

Tustin High School InvenTeam is hard at work now that the Mid-Grant Review is just around the corner. In order to prepare for the event, we have discussed about our presentation as well as designed business cards and banners. It is important to use this chance to promote our team and our invention. Our business cards and banners are designed so our social media is listed as well as our gofundme link for donations. Our banners are also eye-catching and livens up the event.

January 25, 2017

Through our testing of removal techniques, we arrived at the conclusion that using heat to remove gum along with the chemicals and abrasion is more effective than not using heat.  When removing the gum, the gum is first heated until it begins to darken in color, then chemicals are poured on it and the abrasion tool is applied.  After the gum is completely gone, we wash the area with water.  We have found the heat to be effective in loosening up the gum so it is easier to remove.

January 10, 2017

To start, we know we need to get the gum off of the concrete without harming the surface. After sampling various brush types, we have narrowed down our selection to brass, nylon, or steel brushes. We have chosen these ones due to their ability to remove the adhesives effectively without being too expensive.

January 5, 2017

Before the year ended, our team surveyed 54% of the student population of approximately 2,000 in our school whether they chew gum and what brand they chew. This is to determine the types of gums in our school and to narrow down our research.

December 11, 2016

After cigarette butts, chewing gum is the second most prevalent litter problem in the world. A study of Britain’s gum waste on pavements show 92% of their paving stones have gum. Every year, gum waste adds up to more than 250,000 tons of waste and 80-90% of it are not disposed of properly. Predictions suggest that in the next 5 years, gum waste will increase to 1 million metric tons.

December 3, 2016

This banner that we have set up will remind us of the challenges to come in the months up until EUREKAFEST.

November 3, 2016

Guess what?  There is a reason there is so much chewing gum litter on the floor - Removing gum from the sidewalk is really hard!