• 73°

All aboard the Quest Cruise ship: Sixth-graders show off projects from gifted program

Photo by Julia Miller Lainey Brown (left) and Dylan Becker (right) show Nicole Ready (second from right) the fastest people have put together the puzzle during Lipsey's Cruise through Quest Wednesday. Ready was shown around the ports by her son, Ben Ready (second from left).

Lainey Brewer (left) and Dylan Becker (right) show Nicole Ready (second from right) the fastest people have put together the puzzle during Lipsey’s Cruise through Quest Wednesday. Ready was shown around the ports by her son, Ben Ready (second from left).

Lipsey School guests on Wednesday were greeted by the captain of the ship and the cruise director as they entered the second annual Cruise through Quest program.

The program is a snapshot of the projects and activities the students have worked on. Quest, Brookhaven School District’s gifted program for grades second through eighth, gives these students time to learn about areas they normally wouldn’t. The students are pulled out of five periods one day a week to participate in the program.

“My goal is to teach them about things they don’t have time to do in regular class,” Gwen Case, sixth-grade Quest teacher, said.

Case said a lot of what she does is tactile learning, such as tessellation puzzles, to help students develop critical thinking skills. With limited instruction time, the students are able to do a lot of hands-on learning.

Lainey Brewer, one of the Quest students, showed excitement as she helped demonstrate the puzzle stations to guests. Brewer said her favorite station is the Mississippi puzzle — a group of students work together to put the puzzle together as quickly as they can. Brewer said the fastest group is just over three minutes.

The class also covers main units of study for each nine weeks, which focus on such themes as unexplained mysteries or art galleries.

Case said she thought of the cruise as a way to show parents why their students were being pulled out of class.

“When I came back [from retirement] last year, there were a couple things I hadn’t tried before, and this was one,” she said. “It went over really well last year.”