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Gulliver Preparatory School InvenTeam

The Problem

Traveling can be time consuming with heightened security at airports. Increased terrorist activity has also led to less privacy for people who travel.

The Proposal

The Gulliver Preparatory School InvenTeam created a state-of-the-art baggage set to provide more privacy for travelers, while enabling quick and easy security inspections.

The Invention

Dubbed the "Time Traveler," the luggage consists of three models: a carry-on model (22" x 14" x 7.5"), a check-in model (26" x 19" x 9"), and a toiletry set. The fronts of the carry-on and check-in models have two zippered pockets, which are backed by clear vinyl for easy inspection. The luggage unzips into book-like sections and features compartments mounted to the frame. It has rings similar to a binder and is joined by a rod so each section can be opened simultaneously. These rings hold mesh and clear nylon bags with a T-zipper, which opens at the top and middle sections of the suitcase. These features make the suitcase easy to pack and unpack. The toiletry bag includes clear plastic compartments sewn to the midsection to allow inspectors to flip through easily.

The Process

The Time Traveler design was initiated during the 2003 National Engineering Design Challenge. After winning this competition, the team continued work on it as an InvenTeam, with the goal of finalizing the prototype to have a market-worthy product.

The team began its design process by researching suitcase specifications and airport inspection procedures. The students worked with the Transportation Security Administration and United Airlines to learn about testing procedures. They also conducted a survey to collect information about potential buyers of the Time Traveler.

The team used a store-bought suitcase for the foundation of its prototype, and tore away compartments that could conceal dangerous items. Afterward, the students created the binder and compartment features with tools from the school and fabrics from local stores. Yaegar Companies provided tools to create the finished product and helped the students manufacture the Time Traveler.

Continuation Grant

The InvenTeam received a 2009 Continuation Grant.