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Dr. Daigneault speaks to children at the grand opening of museum
GSD Communicator

School administrators, teachers, students, staff, and members of the community helped celebrate the launch of Grenada School District’s Balloon Quest on Wednesday, February 1. The new hands-on learning facility is a science-based, escape-room-style museum that elevates the district’s commitment to innovative learning. 

GSD Superintendent Dr. David Daigneault welcomed guests to the event at the museum site in the National Guard Armory. He described the museum’s concept, a story-driven exhibit that simulates a hot-air balloon journey across six different rooms, or “ecosystems.”

“There is no other like it in the United States,” Daigneault said. “It’s a big deal, and I anticipate that people visiting from all over will want to come and see this.”

School administrators, teachers, students, staff, and members of the community helped celebrate the launch of Grenada School District’s Balloon Quest on Wednesday, February 1. The new hands-on learning facility is a science-based, escape-room-style museum that elevates the district’s commitment to innovative learning. 

GSD Superintendent Dr. David Daigneault welcomed the crowd of approximately 75 guests to the grand opening event at the National Guard Armory, located on the Grenada High School campus. He described the museum’s concept, a story-driven exhibit that simulates a hot-air balloon journey across six different rooms, or “ecosystems.” Students divide into six teams to explore each room and solve a series of academic challenges to advance through the museum. 

“When a student journeys through the quest in all six teams, almost 60 percent of science objectives from the state curriculum in grades K-8 are covered,” Daigneault said. “That was the goal. To sneak up on them and not let kids know that we’re teaching them.”

Director Taylor Buchanan added, “Balloon Quest allows students the experience of traveling beyond Grenada County and aids in the expansion of knowledge and understanding outside of a traditional classroom setting.”

The six quests take place in immersive environments that range from the local (Grenada Lake and Chakchiuma Swamp) to the exotic (Hawaii and the Grand Canyon). 

Along the way, students use a variety of technological tools to increase their science understanding, reading comprehension, problem-solving capabilities, and technological literacy. 

Grenada Middle School Principal Marshall Whittemore portrays the team leader of the architects on a series of videos that students access in the Hawaii room. He attended the grand opening and said the greatest thing about the museum is the extent of useful information the students will receive. “I think that middle school kids will get a lot out of it,” Whittemore said. “I think it will take them several trips going through to see everything because you see something new every time.”

Daigneault told visitors they would be “amazed” by the construction of the museum and the attention to detail. He praised the school district staff members who collaborated on the project. 

“We hired no outside consultants in this process,” Daigneault said. “All the way from the murals to the construction of the exhibits to the technology, everything was done by Grenada School District employees.”

In attendance were members of the maintenance team, which built the lavish ecosystems; the communications department, which created the videos that guide students through the museum; the technology department, which facilitated the interactive features and animatronics; and a committee of teachers and specialists who helped in curriculum content creation. The project also involved actors, musicians, graphic designers, and a sculptor who created select features of the exhibit. 

Daigneault credited his wife, Gail Daigneault, with conceiving the idea and spearheading the project. “This was something that she worked on for years,” Daigneault said. “She can tell you, it took a real village to do this project.”

Daigneault encouraged community groups and even outside school districts to make reservations to see the museum and partake in the adventure. 

“There is no other like it in the United States,” Daigneault said. “It’s a big deal, and I anticipate that people visiting from all over will want to come and see this.”

Reservations can be made by calling Taylor Buchanan 662-307-4546 or emailing balloonquest2022@gmail.com

  • Balloon Quest