From manure bricks to algae oil bioreactors, the first day of BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) 2017 revealed a green tint to this year’s student showcase.

The projects on display at this year’s BTYSTE were whittled down from a total of 2,091 projects from 375 schools, with 1,142 students taking part.

Once again, there were more girls than boys: 602 to 540.

Cork also put in a strong showing, with 125 students attending from the southern county.

This is the third year in a row that Cork has been the dominant participant in the BTYSTE. It found itself considerably ahead of the exhibition’s home county of Dublin, which had 84 entries this year.

Among the entries was a team from Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed in Thurles, Co Tipperary, that took ‘waste not, want not’ to a whole new level, creating a manure eco-brick that is lighter than traditional building materials and weather resistant.

Meanwhile, Gregory Tarr from Bandon Grammar School in Cork claimed that his algae oil could be the start of a multibillion-dollar business in the decades to come.

Words by Colm Gorey