STREP-A-GUM will improve the test experience for patients, soothe
infected throats, and alert parents and medical professionals to the
presence of Strep.

When a child reports Strep symptoms they would be given a piece of
STREP-A-GUM. If Strep is present, the gum will change color and the
parent or nurse can have the child treated. This will ensure early
treatment and minimize contagion. Children will no longer dread the
gagging swab test – they might actually enjoy being tested for Strep.

With more than 700 million cases of Strep a year globally,
STREP-A-GUM can help reduce the spread of the infection.


Gum Flavors

Scroll over the images below to see all of the STREP-A-GUM flavors and
the various colors they turn when Strep is present:


Design Process

Goal: To find a better way to test for Strep

  • Brainstormed and discussed different alternatives to the traditional test. We considered a rinse but decided that it wouldn't be effective if additional testing was needed. Also, the bacteria could get diluted. Our next thought was using gum.
  • To test out the gum theory we visited a local microbiology lab. The head of the lab didn't think our idea was possible, but she agreed to do a basic test with chewing gum to see if bacteria would grow. We each chewed a piece of gum and she tested it for 24 hours. We called the next day and found out that bacteria did indeed grow. IT WAS A SUCCESS!
  • We then researched different tests to learn how the Strep cultures work and what substances are used in those tests.
  • Next step was to figure out some kind of substance to incorporate into the gum to have it change color in the presence of Strep bacteria. We decided that a special enzyme that reacted to the strep bacteria would work.
  • We have continued to improve on our idea. In our original abstract we described the gum as turning black in the presence of Strep A. We have adjusted that description so it would change to the color of the flavor. We felt that this would improve the experience for the patient.
  • We also have a “patent pending” application #61620276 to protect our idea and are looking for ways to further develop it.
About Us   (Sacred Heart School; Hartsdale, NY)

Anna Woods: After a winter of 5 cases of Strep throat, Anna began her search for an alternative Rapid Strep Test. She spends her time cooking, performing in school plays, shooting hoops, and helping serve her community with the Girl Scouts.

Olivia DeLeo: A regular visitor to her Doctor’s office, she has also suffered her share of Strep infections and was also eager to find a new test. She spends her extra time making people laugh, putting together outfits, and shooting hoops. She is also the top cookie seller in her Girl Scout troop.

Jessica Nanko: Having experienced a false negative Rapid Strep Test, she was ready to help find a new solution. In her spare time, she enjoys performing in school plays, eating, and playing with her animals. She was one of the founding members of her Girl Scout troop