Students invent anti-examination cheating device

Two students Azalea Mackenzi and Brent Steve setting up exam security box in Migori town during a press conference on April 7, 2023. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

Two students from Jalaram Academy in Kisumu county have invented an anti-examination cheating security box.

Brian Steve and Azelia McKenzie, senior learners at the academy, say the box has security features that seal examination papers in a box with a special code for each centre.

It can also send short mobile messages to authorities each time a box is opened.

They exhibited their invention at the Regional Science and Engineering fair in Nyanza held at Isebania Boys High School in Migori County.

"We have been seeing reports of examination cheating with teachers and students arrested for accessing the examination before time, compromising integrity, which inspired us to come up with the concept," Steve said.

Unlike the current security feature, in which papers are only placed under a manual seal that is easily broken, the two said their box includes a mobile and sensor to make it more timely.

The box has five key features, including a special code that contains information about all examination materials, such as the teacher in charge, a pad where password codes to open the box are stored, and timers for when it is opened.

"When the box blinks blue, it indicates that the content has not been tampered with, and each time it is opened, it turns white and emits a buzzer to alert people nearby," Steve said.

McKenzie said each time the box is opened, an SMS is sent to those in charge of examinations, including the police and the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), preventing any cases of exam cheating.

"With a time stamp, it will show if the box is opened before the time and due date of the examination."

The sensors and systems were obtained online, and the students assembled and coded them using computers and training from their teachers.