Science students’ best friend: calculators
By Marshall Bellamy
SCIENCE STUDENTS CHEAT WITH CALCULATORS (AND THEY’RE
USING SLIDE RULERS AS WEAPONS). That’s what happens
when you trust them with numbers and stuff.
Apparently fish swim in the sea, bears walk in the woods,
grass grows and students cheat — or at least that’s
what the word on the street is.
A rumour has been circulating throughout the faculty of science
that students are saving answers and formulas into programmable
calculators only to call up the information while writing exams
“The chemistry department has heard it; that’s
where it has arisen,” said Micheal Owen, associate dean
of the faculty of science. “I’ve heard these rumours.
“I think it would be a problem,” he explained,
adding the faculty has no hard information and no academic
offences have occurred involving programmable calculators.
According to Owen, was the academic year is almost over, it
is too late to impose any sort of policy against programmable
calculators — but exam proctors have been informed they
must check calculator screens during exams. “Simple calculators
would be allowed, which couldn’t store information,” he
In search of someplace that would have a working knowledge
of conniving cheaters and their wonderfully deceitful calculators,
The Gazette decided to contact a local high school in hopes
they would share secrets of dealing with calculating hooligans.
Dan Howard, vice-principal at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic
Secondary School in London, explained that programmable calculators
are not a serious concern because many students do not own
“Although, our math department believes it will become
an issue,” he said, noting the department does proscribe
the use of programmable calculators.
“We do everything to accommodate the students, but that
doesn’t mean we allow students to cheat,” Howard
He also explained the issue had arisen in the United States
and actions were taken to deal with programmable calculators. “Maybe
we’re just a little behind,” Howard remarked.
“I think that’s cheating; I don’t think
that’s fair. We can’t bring in notepads with answers
on them,” said third-year sociology student Amanda Baker.
“They don’t usually let them in — except
for engineering because they make bridges and stuff,” noted
third-year biology student Courtney Beneteau.