THE imaginative minds of Kerry's young students never cease to amaze!
From soundproof Velux windows and foldable shoes to dog hair removers and instore locators, there was certainly no shortage of wonderful ideas brewing at the Brandon's Conference Centre on Friday when over 600 second level students gathered for the 2011 Young Entrepreneur Programme Blue Sky Day.
Each as eager as the next to explain their ideas for this year's programme, the county's students did themselves and their teachers proud, coming up with some innovative and downright useful inventions that may one day make them their fortune.
Pet lover Niamh Hickey, a fourth year student at St Brigid's Secondary School in Killarney, was extremely enthusiastic about her idea - a dog hair remover that uses static to rid your clothes of unwanted hair.
Hugely impressed by the YEP programme, Niamh said that she knows only too well how annoying pet hair can be, so what better way to make a living than by inventing something she'd use herself.
Her classmate Aoife Doona is hoping that her idea of an instore locator will bring her luck in this year's programme. The concept, she explained, is a simple one - whereby shoppers can use an app on their phone or an instore device in the supermarket to find which aisle their required goods are in.
"It would just save loads of time when your shopping if you could type in what you want and it tells you what aisle it's in," she said.
A tortuous night out after her Junior Cert results is what inspired St Brigid's student Eimear Crowley to come up with the idea of foldable shoes as her YEP project.
"I'd love to invent foldable shoes for nights out with a rubber sole so glass can't get into them and so they are comfortable and can fit easily into your handbag,"Eimear explained.
"It was after the Junior Cert results when everyone was complaining about their high heels that I thought of this."
Praising the YEP concept, Eimear said it proved to students of that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
The girls of Presentation Secondary School in Listowel were equally innovative, again coming up with some cracking ideas for this year's project.
Sleep lover, Ciara Stack, is keen to invent soundproof attic windows to eliminate noise when it rains.
"You know if you have Velux windows on the roof you just can't sleep with the rain hitting of them so I was thinking it would be great to invent soundproof windows to prevent it," she said. "I'd love to get the idea off the ground because it would be so exciting to be your own boss."
Classmate and project partner Taragh Kelly agreed, saying that the YEP project is a great idea to encourage young people to seriously think about doing it for themselves.
Presentation Listowel team Sarah O'Brien and Phoebe Enright-Keane were again inspired by everyday occurances in coming up with their idea - tailored made school bags.
Sarah explained that she and Phoebe would love to provide custom made schoolbags which students could design themselves online.
As if on cue, two girls walked past brandishing identical schoolbags on their back as the girls explained that the choice available to students is very limited.
"When you're looking for schoolbags they're nearly all the same so we thought it would be great if you could go online and choose your own specific design," Phoebe explained, pointing at the passers by.
And it seemed that whatever the girls could do on Friday, the boys could do just as good, as the imaginative fourth years from Gael Cholaiste Trá Lí proved.
Rugby fanatic Cián O Cinnéide is hoping to impress judges with his concept of a rugby fitness app, which would outline in detail the exact fitness regime undertaken by the pros.
Cián says there is no such app available at the minute and he would love to be the one to invent it.
His classmate Daire O Briain, along with two others, had come up with another unique project for this year's competition - again app-inspired.
"Our concept is that you'd take a picture of a specific triangle and the app would tell you its angles. It would be great for carpenters and construction workers where it would automatically be done for them."
Fellow Gael Choláiste student Cian Carlos wasn't keen to divulge any details of his project just yet, but he was full of praise for the YEP concept and said it offered young students great food for thought in coming up with original business ideas.