Kansas teacher's tweet for lesson goes viral

OSAGE CITY, Kan. — C.J. Marple is a third-grade teacher in the Osage City School District. 

On Monday, Jan. 8, Marple sent out a tweet to show his class the power of Twitter and how fast information can spread. 

As of Friday, Jan. 12, the tweet has more than 225,000 retweets. 

“It’s crazy,” Marple said of Twitter’s reaction to his tweet. “I figured it might get one or two hundred retweets, but I never expected this.”

Marple said he’s stopped keeping track of the number of retweets.

The idea came out of the district’s efforts to incorporate the STEM curriculum in their science classes. He wanted to show how quickly things can go viral.

Celebrities have even taken to retweeting his science experiment, including actor Eric Stonestreet.

Marple said Twitter does a pretty good job of limiting notifications once a tweet reaches the stratosphere, so he didn’t even know celebrities were retweeting him until his friends and fellow teachers showed him.

As for the big reveal to his class?

He originally wanted to give the tweet until Friday to gain traction, but because of the response, he might be able to share the lessons of the tweet on Thursday.

The first retweet was from his best friend in Oklahoma, which came just hours after his tweet. He used that as an example that someone in Oklahoma already knew what the teacher half-way between Kansas City and Wichita had said online.

“They were floored,” Marple said.

It’s not all positive news though. Marple said that he’s also received tweets from strangers complaining about his tweet and the project. He plans to share those tweets with his students to show how strangers can be negative toward someone they don’t even know.

Marple said his phone has been ringing off the hook, and he’s using every free minute of his time to respond to calls from area newspapers. When he spoke to 41 Action News, his kids were out on the playground for recess.

He’s also been busy working out a plan to appear on the Fox and Friends news program Wednesday around 6:20 a.m.

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