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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Crafty College Students Design Helmets to Thwart Exam Cheating

You’ve put in long hours studying for your college midterms and don’t want anyone copying your answers. What do you do? You make a wacky anti-cheating hat that blocks your peers from seeing your test, of course.  

Student attaches tubes to his eyes to block the view of his testStudent attaches tubes to his eyes to block the view of his testEnlarge Image

Mary Joy Mandane-Ortiz

That’s what students at a school in the Philippines did on the prompting of their teacher, who asked them to create headgear that would prevent others from copying their work.  

Mary Joy Mandane-Ortiz, a professor of mechanical engineering at Bicol University’s College of Engineering, told the BBC she initially asked students to make a “simple” design out of paper as a fun way to ensure honest exam-taking earlier this month. But these engineers weren’t going to settle for simple.They tapped anything they could find — from paper bags to cardboard tubes and boxes, bubble wrap, fabric and even a tennis racket case to create headwear that obscures neighbors’ views. One placed an open umbrella canopy atop his head, while another wore headphones to hold two rectangular vision-obscuring paper flaps in place over his ears. 

A student's anti-cheating hat made from headphones that hold two rectangular strips in place on the side of his face.A student's anti-cheating hat made from headphones that hold two rectangular strips in place on the side of his face.Enlarge Image

Mary Joy Mandane-Ortiz

Mandane-Ortiz posted images of the hats on Facebook, earning the students worldwide attention (and potentially some job offers). Pupils at another school in the Philippines, Palawan State University, even followed suit with their own handmade anti-cheating hats.  

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as they say, except if you’re copying someone else’s exam answers.

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