High school kids invent sweeper that could vacuum trash in NYC subways

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NEW YORK — Baruch College Campus High School students invented a subway sweeper that caught president Barack Obama's attention at the White House Science Fair.

The MTA has been dealing with trash and garbage on the tracks for years. The garbage piles can ignite and cause track fires, which slows down commute. Officials have even posted warnings on the subway platforms and inside trains, but it remains a constant issue.

For the past two school years, students at Baruch College Campus High School on E 25th St. worked on a vacuum train prototype. On April 13, the were invited to the White House Science Fair.

President Obama operated the machine during the demonstration with students and their science projects in the East Room.

Now, the students hope to bring the design to a company.

The MTA has acknowledged the students' design. Three new vacuum trains were ordered at a cost of $23 million in 2014. The first new train is scheduled to arrive at the end of this year and in 2017.

The current vacuum trains used to collect trash in the tunnels are old and break down often. Crews are then forced to remove trash on the tracks at each station by hand.

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