More than 1,000 young people took part in a national computer coding challenge to create websites, applications and games that solve real-life problems.
A four-day Festival of Code, staged at the University of Central Lancashire, was organised by computing and IT teacher Alan O’Donohoe, from Our Lady’s Catholic High School in Fulwood.
It attracted more than 50 local children aged from eight to 18.
The Preston gathering was one of around 50 taking part all over the county with the aim of inspiring children through computer programming.
They were assigned virtual mentors recruited via Twitter and included professional programmers and company executives.
After creating a variety of games and programmes on healthy eating, world crime statistics, road traffic incidents and the cost of bringing up a child, the groups pitched their ideas to a panel of teachers and mentors at the end of the week.
Leyla Al Haroun, 11, said: “I teamed up with three other girls to create a game called Crime Catchers which uses real crime statistics.
“We’re all beginners to coding and have taken turns at everything. It’s been great fun learning how to programme.”
Fellow coder 14-year-old Wanida Costello added: “I started coding when I started high school.
“It’s a great way to share ideas and be creative while learning new skills at the same time.”
Alan O’Donohoe said: “There is an abundance of information available for young coders and our job is to support and guide them.
“Through the Festival of Code we are able enable to inspire these young people to be creative and develop key skills needed for the digital world.”