You’ve spent long hours studying for your midterm exams and you don’t want anyone to copy your answers. What are you doing? You make a wacky anti-cheat hat that blocks your peers from seeing your test, of course.
This is what the students of a school in the Philippines did at the instigation of their teacher, who asked them to create headgear that would prevent others from copying their work.
Mary Joy Mandane-Ortiz, professor of mechanical engineering at Bicol University’s College of Engineering, told the BBC she originally asked students to create a “simple” paper design as a fun way to ensure an honest review at the beginning of the month. But these engineers weren’t going to settle for simplicity.
They exploited everything they could find – from paper bags to cardboard tubes and boxes, bubble wrap, fabric and even a tennis racket case to create headgear that obscured the view of neighbors. One placed an open umbrella canopy over his head, while another wore headphones to hold two rectangular vision-obscuring paper flaps in place over his ears.
Mandane-Ortiz posted images of the hats on Facebook, attracting the attention of students around the world (and potentially job offers). Students from another school in the Philippines, Palawan State University, even followed suit with their own handmade anti-cheat hats.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as they say, unless you are copying someone else’s exam answers.