The assignment was to create a short video focusing on teen driver safety issues.
The students went to work and came up with "The Choice is Yours" a public service announcement that depicts a teenage girl who attends a party and begins drinking alcohol.
A counter helps the viewer keep track of every bad decision the girl makes including getting in a car and driving.
Eventually the teen is involved in an automobile crash.
The message Martinez and her fellow film makers are trying to convey "is that every decision counts," she said.
"Teen Driver Challenge" video contest winners
The Pomona Police Department recently recognized the winners of its
First place was awarded the School of Arts and Enterprise for "The Choice is Yours."
Second place when to Village Academy High School for "Like A Good Neighbor."
Third place was given to Village Academy High School for "Dream Car."
Garey High School earned honorable mention with it's entry "Don't Drink and Drive or Text."
The video earned the students first place in the "Teen Driver Challenge" a contest organized by the Pomona Police Department with the help of grant from State Farm Insurance.
About 100 students from four Pomona high schools participated in the contest, said Cpl. JT Garcia of the Pomona Police Department's traffic services bureau.
"We saw some (videos) that were rudimentary to some that were very well-produced," Garcia said.
However, all had one thing in common.
"They all sent the correct message," he said.
The contest, something the police department conducted for the first time, "goes to the educational side of traffic," Garcia said.
The traffic bureau has programs for younger children such as its annual Bike Rodeo through which young bike riders learn about traffic safety. The bureau also puts on "Every 15 Minutes" a program that moves around to a different high school each year and depicts the dangers of drinking and driving.
The contest offered teens different educational program that they could participate in at a deeper level by bringing attention to dangerous behavior including drunken driving, cell phone use, speeding and distractions from teen passengers.
Studies indicate fewer teen drivers are on the road in part due to the poor economy but law enforcement authorities are still seeing increases in traffic collisions involving teenagers, Garcia said.
To raise awareness in teens of the dangers of driving while drunk or while distracted there is nothing better than the help of other teens.
When youth talk to their peers about refrain from engaging in dangerous behavior the message will carry more weight than if it came from adults.
Youth "tend to send a stronger message to their own peer groups," Garcia said. "The impact is great."
James Oh teaches 12th grade English at the School of Arts and Enterprise in addition to film making, which is an elective course at the school.
When the school administration approached Oh with information about the contest he selected six students who had been part of last school year's pilot film making class.
"They had all the basic skills," Oh said.
He gave the team certain parameters to work with since the students didn't have access to elaborate camera equipment.
The students then set off to work and handled every aspect of the project on their own, Oh said. They had a month to plan, shoot, edit and submit their entry to the police department.
It was done "all in a relatively short amount of time," he said.
Martinez, who served as the producer of the team, said she welcomed the project.
"I was really excited because it was going to be something more challenging," she said.
Students developed the concept for their video executed it and contacted businesses such as Cole-Schaffer Ambulance who participated in the project.
"Overall our video was pretty realistic," Martinez said.
The final product conveys a message for young people, she said.
"I think it could definitely get to some people," Martinez said.
Garcia said a total of seven videos were entered in the contest and the first, second and third place winners recognized during a recent awards luncheon attended by all the participants.
The prizes consist of scholarships - $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for third place - with each prize to be split up among each teams' members, Garcia said.
Also, each of the participating schools will receive a $675 prize to go toward a school program such as art or video production, he said.
The Police Department was able to offer the prizes along with the awards luncheon with the help of State Farm's grant.
The contest was a success and members of the police department would like to hold it again but they cannot do until it they can raise the money through grants or some other means, Garcia said.