The Rainforest Van

Submitted by beth.knudsen on

Not many Barnett Elementary students have travelled the world, but the Rainforest Van brings a world of animals to our students! Living Planet Aquarium from Sandy, Utah provides an outreach program for schools along the Wasatch Front.

The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach and the Pac Man Frog are just two of the many creatures Barnett 2ndgraders met this month.  Our students were science detectives for a day as they made observations and inferences about the animals, their environments, and adaptations.

This program is specially designed around the 2nd grade Utah Core Curriculum. Interactive and engaging, this program guided the students along an adventure around the world without leaving the classroom. The students were asked questions about geography, biology and environmental science, testing their prior knowledge and investigative skills. The Living Planet Aquarium Rainforest Van sparked an interest in the 2nd grade.

The demonstrations by the trained animal specialists fostered a desire within the students to learn about the planet. The presenters were engaging and gave our students an up close and personal experience with cockroaches, millipedes, crabs, and geckos.

157,000 students have experienced the wonder of the Rainforest Van since 1999. Barnett Elementary is grateful for the opportunity The Living Planet Aquarium provided for their inquisitive young students. Three lucky students, chosen by raffle, were given a free day-pass to The Living Planet Aquarium.

The rainforest, once 12% of the planet’s surface, has now been depleted to less than 5%, although 50% of the earth’s species are found there. What a terrific and memorable experience it was for Barnett 2nd Graders to get to know these unique animals.


Megan O'Connell