A talented A Level student has beaten off tough competition across the country to win a national computing challenge.

Luke Needham, 16, who studies Physics, Maths, Computing and Philosophy at Nelson and Colne College, triumphed in the Cambridge University Press contest after designing an impressive user interface program.

The former Blessed Trinity Community College student, from Burnley, bagged himself a smart watch as a result of his efforts and was presented with his prize by Assistant Principal Paul Britton.

The monthly contest is designed to develop core computing skills, computational thinking and programming skills and helps relate Computer Science to the real world. The quirky mission Luke was given took him to the year 2020, where a citizen had to break codes and decipher hidden messages to unveil a secret that would change his life forever.

Luke, who intends to pursue a degree in Computer Science and a career in software engineering, said: “I am very happy to have won and tried my best to make my program the best that it could possibly be.”

A Cambridge University Press spokesman congratulated Luke for his success in answering a particularly challenging question and praised him for his “excellent” solution.

Computer Science tutor Daniel Forrester said: “Luke like many other students this year has embodied the drive and determination for independent investigation that we look to foster at Nelson and Colne College.

“It is very important to give the students the tools that will not only help the students to pass examinations but that will help the student in the next stage whether that is university or the workplace.

“When competitions like the one Luke has won come up we encourage our students to take part and showcase their abilities and we are very proud that that Luke has managed to win this competition ahead of students from some top colleges in the country.”

To find out more about A Level courses at Nelson and Colne College ring 01282 440 272.