SciWorks, the Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County is a science museum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The museum is geared toward families with children and has school programs for students from preschool to eighth grade.
It began in 1964 as the Nature Science Center, started by the local Junior League; the museum was originally housed in a barn at Reynolda Village. In 1972, the Nature Science Center moved to its present location on West Hanes Mill Road, into a campus that originally housed the Forsyth County Home and Hospital, the precursur to Forsyth Medical Center. In 1992 it closed and underwent a major renovation, re-opening under the SciWorks name. In 2001, the museum upgraded the facilities by doubling the space of one of the main galleries and adding an indoor eating area to the building.
The museum currently consists of a building with 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) of exhibit space, a 15-acre (61,000 m2) environmental park, and a planetarium. The exhibit galleries cover a wide range of topics such as North Carolina geography and geology, the human body, physics (featuring a Foucault pendulum), sound, and technology. In addition, there is a traveling exhibit gallery that features both nationally touring exhibits and exhibits created in-house. The BioWorks exhibit, focusing on animals both local and exotic, was renovated in 2010, and includes a new habitat for Huey, a chatty blue-and-yellow macaw who has become the museum's unofficial mascot.
The environmental park features river otters, white-tailed deer, and a barnyard that has donkeys, a miniature horse, sheep, domestic goats, and cows. The museum runs several interactive education programs for elementary and middle school students, and has an outreach program for schools in more remote areas. In addition, SciWorks also offers special summer programs, as well as camp-ins for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
SciWorks is a private nonprofit museum. About a third of its funding comes from city and state grants, but over half of the money that runs the facility comes from income generated by admissions, gift shop sales, SciCamp fees, and other sources.
- SciWorks Teachers Guide: 2006-2007, (2006), SciWorks (brochure)
- SciWorks Annual Report: 2005-2006