I am a member of a small group of physics graduate students in charge of a monthly series of public science lectures. The lectures are aimed at local high school students, and we have many high school teachers who encourage their students to attend by offering extra credit. The audience of each talk (typically around 100) is composed almost wholly of students who have come solely because they want a few extra points in chemistry or whatever. In the current system, we prepare attendance sheets with school and teacher names on the top, and at the conclusion of the lecture, the students who want credit for attending come to the front of the hall and sign their name to the appropriate sheet to prove they were there. Then we photocopy these sheets for our records and mail the originals back to the teachers. There are a number of issues with this system: Students often don't pay attention to the top of the sheets (where the school and teacher are listed) and write their names on the wrong list. Students who arrive to the lecture very late still receive credit for attending. Unless watched very closely, students can sign the names of friends who did not attend in addition to their own name. Even if watched very closely, they can still do this if they are clever enough to do one name at a time and then loop back around to the end of the line. If many students from a single teacher's classes all attend, there is a huge pile-up at the end around a single sheet. I am looking to design a new process to eliminate some of these issues. My current idea is to hand out a small slip of paper with blanks for name, teacher, and school to each student as they arrive, which can be turned in at the end. Pros: Eliminates errors in correctly identifying teacher/school. Penalizes both arriving late, since we can stop handing out the slips 5 or 10 minutes after the lecture begins. Penalizes leaving early, since we won't collect the slips until the talk is over. In principle, students can't sneak their absent friends' names in, since they receive only one slip each. But how do we keep the clever ones from leaving the room and coming in again in order to get a second slip? It is very quick just to collect the slips as the students depart. Cons: Many students will not have a pen or pencil. Possible solution: A box of 144 golf pencils looks to be very cheap. An obvious exploit is to take a slip home and make copies. Possible solution: Put a different image on the slips each month. But this means the leftover slips from the previous month aren't reusable, so that wastes a lot of paper. It is more inconvenient to copy the attendance records before mailing them back when the names are all on individual slips of paper. Please, what is your feedback? I'm open to a different system entirely, or to tweaks to improve my new proposal, or for issues that haven't occurred to me.