School email projects

School Science Fair Email Projects

Summary of eRumor:
It has become popular for schools to launch email projects asking those who receive their messages to let them know who they are or where they are and asking that the email be forwarded to all their friends. The class then plots all the replies on a map to measure how widespread the email was circulated.
The Truth:
Most of us would like to help a student project, but it pays to be cautious. If the project is really sponsored by a class of students whose only purpose is to see how widely and how quickly their email massage will spread, that’s fine. But if not, than this is one of the eRumors that could result in your email address ending up on a Spammers list. The school email projects generate a lot of return emails and if the recipient is not a class and a teacher, but is a person who is merely collecting email address for sending unsolicited messages, that is a problem. Most legitimate school projects will list the name of the school, sometimes the teacher’s name, will use an institutional email address such as from the school, may sometimes have a web page posted where you can find out whether the project is still current, and will often tell you the date when the project is over. A surprising number of these school email requests, however, do not list identifying information and use a “free” email account for the return address such as Hotmail or Yahoo. That is a warning not to reply. Not long ago, followed up with an email provider about a school science fair message that looked suspicious. We suggested that the provider contact the email user to find out if he or she really was a teacher as was claimed. We received a reply from the provider thanking us for the tip and informing us that the user address had been discontinued and the person was no longer a customer.
Los Angeles elementary school project-Unproven! Said to be Discontinued!
This was one of those that had no identifying information. It said it was from an elementary science teacher. We sent an email to the address on the message and received a reply saying the project was halted because of too much response. We don’t know if it was authentic.
updated 05/03/02
Second-graders at McComb Elementary school in Caro, Michigan-Truth! but Discontinued!
The school tells that the project was to have gone until May 1, 2001, but had to be halted because of the number of obscene emails being received.
Fourth-grade class at Scottsdale Christian Academy in Phoenix, Arizona-Truth! but Discontinued!
This was a month long project that ended on November 12, 2001
updated 11/15/2001
Fourth graders at Riverton Elementary School in Riverton, Illinois-Truth! but Discontinued!
The school confirmed the project to, but said it was brought to an end on April 9, 2001.
updated 05/05/2001
Fifth-grade class at Tomball Intermediate School in Tomball, Texas-Truth! but Discontinued!
A spokesperson for the school says it was halted in January, 2001, because of overwhelming response.
Posted 02/08/01