Instructor and Dual Credit Students Develop Anti-DWI App
Marla Peters, who teaches an Introduction to Computers course, was asked earlier this year by a Rio Rancho Public Schools official if she and some of her students at the alternative high school could develop a computer game. She said no to the game, but asked, "How about an app?"
Intrigued by application software that causes a computer to perform useful tasks beyond the running of the computer itself, she hooked up with consultant Dr. Rod Sanchez, owner of the digital media company Purple Neuron, to come up with a plan. He was awarded a grant from the New Mexico Public Education Department to increase use of digital media in public schools.
When Peters started working with digital media, her friend Diane Irwin, a former Independence High School counselor and current Sandoval County DWI and Prevention Program Manager, suggested a partnership between the two organizations. That led to the anti-DWI app.
Then it was up to the kids – three high school seniors who are interested in digital media. Two of them will be graduating this spring and attending CNM in the fall. One will graduate in December from high school.
“These students are pioneers,” Peters said. “No one knew about all the software needed to create it. The young men figured it out on their own. The three students had taken the dual credit IT 1010 (Introduction to Computers) class and are very computer savvy.”
She and the students worked as a team and called themselves the “3 Ps & J” for Marla Peters, Erick Pino-Perez and John Singletary, Peters said. A third student, Tristan Proztman, contributed to the project as well. Pino-Perez and Singletary are planning to enter CNM's Computer Information Systems program in the fall.
Each student came up with his own app design. Working with Sandoval County officials, they worked together to develop the final design.
The app links to a blood alcohol calculator, support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and counselors, taxi service information and a YouTube site where anti-DWI PSA's are aired.
Peters has taught full-time at Independence High School in Rio Rancho for 14 years and has served as a part-time instructor at CNM for five. She will join CNM full time in the fall, teaching Photoshop, Digital Video Editing, IT 1010 and she hopes an app class.