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Home --> Inboxer Rebellion --> Petitions --> School Daze

School Daze

Claim:   Students at an elementary school are collecting e-mail messages for a school project.

Status:   Not any longer.

Examples:

[Collected on the Internet, 2001]

Hi! We are fifty 6th grade students at Taylorsville Elementary School in Taylorsville, North Carolina the county seat of Alexander County. We are located in the foothills of the Brushy Mountains and are often called "Apple City". We have decided, after seeing this done at another school, to map an e-mail project. We are curious to see where in the world our e-mail will travel via the Internet, between the period of December 13, 2000 and April 1, 2000. This is not a pen-pal project, so we will not write you back (unless you request a verification). We would like your help. If you receive this e-mail, we ask that you:

1. E-mail us back at: taylab@twave.net and tell us your city/state/location so we can plot it on our map.

2. Forward this e-mail to everyone you know so that they can send it on to everyone they know (and so on) to help us reach even more people. (We don't mind receiving repeats, so sent it on to everyone. We're tracking the number of responses we receive as well, and will be making a graph in our computer lab classes using the numbers received by state.) We will post our results on our school's web site after our deadline so that you can see how we did. Our site can be accessed through http://www.alexander.k12.nc.us/. With your help we can make this a very fun and exciting learning experience. PLEASE help us.

Thank you for any help you can give.

Your friends,

Taylorsville Elementary's 6th grade students
(Mrs. Janet Forrest's Social Studies Classes)
121 7th St SW
Taylorsville, NC 28681



[Collected on the Internet, 2002]

We are in the 4th grade at Cairo Elementary School in Cairo, West Virginia. We are located in Ritchie County near Harrisville, West Virginia. Our classroom teacher, Mrs. Davis is helping us with this project. We have decided to map an e-mail. We are curious to see where in the world our e-mail will go starting on January 2, 2002, and ending March 22, 2002. This is not a pen pal project, so we will not write you back unless you request it. We would appreciate your help. If you receive this message, we ask that you:

1. E-mail us back at cairoelementary4@yahoo.com and tell us your location by city, state, and country. We will then plot these on our map.

2. Copy and paste this into a new email and send this letter to everyone you know. They, in turn, can send it on to everyone they know. This will help us reach as many people as possible. After collecting the e-mail messages and plotting them on a map, we will graph the number of responses we receive by state and country. With your help, this project will be a very exciting learning experience.

Thank You,
Mrs. Davis' 4th Grade
Cairo Elementary
Cairo, West Virginia

Origins:   As more and more schools have become "wired," sending out the Internet equivalent of messages tied to balloons has become a popular class project. Create a message that identifies you and asks the finder to write back, set it adrift in cyberspace, and collect responses from all over the world. As most of the schools that try this are finding out, however, it isn't quite the same thing as letting balloons fly, because the number of responses received is no longer limited by the number of balloons launched. A single e-mail message can be forwarded and re-forwarded to recipient after recipient, with the result that the originators soon find themselves deluged by hundreds of thousands of responses.

Classes of schoolchildren who expect to spend a little time each day tabulating the responses they receive end up overwhelmed by their success, as was the case at both of the schools cited in the examples above. The Taylorsville Elementary School project was scheduled to run from 13 December 2000 to 1 April 2001, but as a notice posted on the school's site explains, they decided to end the experiment early due to the tremendous number of messages they received. Likewise, the Cairo Elementary School project, which was planned to run from 2 January through 22 March 2002, had already been discontinued by February 2002 due to overwhelming reponse.

Folks keep on trying, though. April 2002 saw the launching of yet another effort:
Subject: Kids Science Project

Hey this is easy -

Hi:
I am a science teacher at an elementary school in Los Angeles, California. A few of my sixth grade students are working on a project for our 2002 Science Fair to be held May 8-9, 2002. We are trying to see where, and how fast e-mail can travel in a period of six weeks. We are keeping track of how many e-mails we get back, and what cities, states, and countries they are coming from. We are hoping that you will be willing to help us with our project!

There are only 2 simple steps that will help us to track this email:

1. Please send an e-mail to the following address: science2002fair@yahoo.com
In the subject of the e-mail please include your city, state, and country.
You do not need to include your name. Please respond only one time.

2. Please forward this e-mail to everyone on your mailing list. We will be keeping track of the number of responses, as well as the locations. Therefore, send them even to people in the same town. In our science project, we are trying to rate how fast and how far information can travel on the Internet in a six week period. If you receive this e-mail after May 1, 2002, please disregard it, since the project will be over.

Thank you VERY much for your help!
This project, too, ended far earlier than anticipated, as the auto-response on the account informed senders:
Thank you for participating in our e-mail science project. Due to the overwhelming amount of daily e-mails we are receiving from all over the world, we have decided to stop the project at two weeks instead of extending it to six weeks. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
Another entry from March 2002 was over almost as soon as it had begun:
Subject: A school project we can help with

Hello, Kia Ora!

We are Year 8 students at Taonui School, a rural school located near Feilding, in the Manawatu province of New Zealand.

Our teacher, Mr Small is helping us with this project. We have decided to map the progress of an email. We are interested in finding out "Where in the World' our email will go. We are starting our project on March 11 2002 and ending June 11 2002. This is not a pen pal project, so we will not write back to you unless you request it.

We would appreciate your help. If you receive this message, we ask that you:

1. Email us back at taonuischool@hotmail.com and tell us your location, by city, state and country. We will plot these locations on our map.

2. Forward this email and send it to everyone on your address list. They, in turn, can send it to all their contacts. This will help us to reach as many people as possible. After collecting the email messages and plotting them on a map, we will graph the number of responses we have received by state and country. With your help, this project will be a very exciting learning experience for us.

Thank you.

Amy Davis-Herbison and Nikolai Gorinski
Just a few days after this message from a rural New Zealand school hit the Internet, messages sent to the address supplied began to bounce with an "exceeded storage allocation" error message. (Some versions of this entry include the same names and e-mail address, but claim to be from an Austrlian school.)

Another DOA message from British Columbia was bouncing its responses with a "User unknown" error in mid-April:
I am a teacher at Haney-Pitt Meadows Christian school in Maple Ridge British Columbia Canada, A few of my sixth grade students are working on a project for our 2002 Science Fair to be held May 19. We are trying to see where, and how fast e-mail can travel in a period of four weeks. We are keeping track of how many e-mails we get back, and what cities, states, and countries they are coming from. We are hoping that you will be willing to help us with our project! There are only 2 simple steps that will help us to track this email:

1. Please send an e-mail to the following address: emailproject2002@aol.com. In the subject of the e-mail please include your city, province or state, and country. You do not need to include your name. Please respond only one time.

2. Please forward this e-mail to everyone on your mailing list. We will be keeping track of the number of responses, as well as the locations. Therefore, send them even to people in the same town. In our science project, we are trying to rate how fast and how far information can travel on the Internet in a four week period. If you receive this e-mail after May 15, 2002, please disregard it, since the project will be over. Thank you VERY much for your help!
Responses sent to these Florida elementary school students (whose message unwisely specified no beginning or end date) were bouncing with a non-specific error in late April 2002:
Kid's Survey

Hello!

We are in Mrs. Sheckells second grade class at Crystal Lake Elementary School in Stuart, Florida. We are doing an experiment for our class in which we are trying to see where our email can travel in the space of one month. We will keep track of how many emails we get and from which cities, states, and countries. We are hoping you will be willing to help us in our project. There are just 2 simple steps that will allow us to track this email:

1. Please send an email containing your city, state, and country to sheckem@martin.k12.fl.us You do not need to include your name. Please only respond one time.

2. Forward this letter to as many people as you possible can. We are going to keep track of actual numbers of responses from individual cities, so send it even to those that live in the same town. We have decided to only do the tracking for 1 month. We have chosen the month of April. If you receive this email in May, please do not bother to respond, our project will have already ended.

Thank you for your participation in our experiment. We can't wait to start receiving those emails! Thank you
Mrs. Sheckells Second Grade Teacher Crystal Lake Elementary

Have a wonderful day!!
The only school project to generate a valid response for us so far was this one from a Pittsburgh elementary school, although that may be only because we managed to catch them within a few days of their starting date:
We are in Mrs. Kolenik¹s computer class at St. John the Baptist School in Pittsburgh, PA. We are conducting an experiment for our class in which we are trying to see where our email can travel in the space of one month. We will keep track of how many emails we get and from which cities, states, and countries. We are hoping you will be willing to help us in our project.

There are just 2 simple steps that will allow us to track this email:

1. Please send an email containing your city, state, and country to mailbox@stjohnthebaptistschool.org You do not need to include your name. Please respond only one time.

2. Forward this letter to as many people as you possible can. We are going to keep track of actual numbers of responses from individual cities, so send it even to those that live in the same town.

We have decided to only do the tracking for 1 month. We have chosen to monitor this project from April 23rd to May 23rd. If you receive this email after May 23rd, please just delete it, our project will have already ended. Thank you for your participation in our experiment. We can't wait to start receiving those emails!

Thank you

Mrs. Kolenik
Computer Teacher
St. John the Baptist School
Pittsburgh, PA
Last updated:   5 January 2008

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