Walking into Juniper Elementary School's student-made rainforest, a visitor might think he was entering jungles of the Brazilian Amazon.

There was a tucan bird with its colorful bill, a boa constrictor, a black bat and beautiful foliage drapped all around.

"It's really, really cool," said Susan Mills, one of a dozen Gifted And Talented Education students who helped create the surprisingly realistic rainforest project. "I can't believe we did it."

For three months, a select group of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students in the classes of teachers Kadi Turner and Laura Fedders created the adventurous project. After it was unveiled to visitors last week, the participants were rewarded with a pizza party.

"It's really fun," said student Manuel Enriquez, "because it gives us something to do."
Each student was assigned to write a report on their assignment. A display of products made from rainforest materials was also created.

The participants and their creations included Joseph Rodriguez, bat; Manuel Enriquez, macaw; Milan Poindexter, bromeliad; Kerri Dills, brazil nut; Elizabeth Sanchez, jaguar; Everett Babb, emerald tree boa; Victor Cervantes, papaya; Myrna Cervantes, blue morpho; Trevor Nguyen, dart frog; Jose Manuel Barajas, tarantula; Susan Mills, walking stick.