John C. Vanderburg Elementary
Home of the Rainforest Biosphere
The History of the Biosphere
As the home of the world’s only Rainforest Biosphere located within an elementary school, John C. Vanderburg is very proud of this 3000 square foot science lab. As the vision of its opening principal in 1996, Dr. Carolyn Reedom, the unique facility was designed, planned and built with input from students, architects, skilled labor and the surrounding community. Opening in 2002, this non-profit facility cost approximately $3,000,000 which was raised through donations. Today, the Rainforest Biosphere Foundation depends upon its existence through community donations and school fund raisers like our annual PTA Harvest Festival.
The mission of the grade level appropriate curriculum is to expose students to the environmental challenges cultures, past, present and future have had or will experience in the preservation of animal and human life. Highlighting this objective is the significance of the world’s rainforests. As part of the various curriculum the students are exposed to an assortment of live animals: birds, fish, and reptiles. In addition to being an interactive science lab, the biosphere serves as part of our leadership program. Only students who have completed 3rd grade at Vanderburg have the opportunity to interview for the Docent Program. These guides, after comprehensive training, are the teachers in the five learning centers which comprise the facility. In a typical school year these docents usually host 1500 guests.
We welcome visitors from other schools; however guests are limited to students in grades 2-5. Classroom teachers may apply in the fall, no later than October, for a springtime visit. Space is limited thus an early email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com is necessary. This information must include school, grade level, number of students, and a cell number.
Donations to this non-profit can be made through a tax deductible check brought to our office or mailed to:
John C. Vanderburg Elementary School
Rainforest Biosphere Foundation
2040 Desert Shadow Trail
Henderson, Nevada 89012