Ask any Triad local about their memories of SciWorks Science Center and there’s a good chance the response is “I loved going there when I was a kid!” But Ally McCauley, marketing and special events coordinator for SciWorks, has a plan to update those memories.

The hands-on learning center has implemented a plan to help garner attention from the older crowd – the maturing adults who fondly remember piecing together puzzles and dancing on a piano carpet. SciWorks After Dark, a series of events designed to bring adults to the venue throughout the summer, celebrated over 100 attendees this past Thursday. The event geared itself towards the craft beer scene, a growing trend both locally and nationally.

“The intention is to have something for adults only, and this first event was on brewing and distilling,” McCauley said.

After Dark’s first installment brought five breweries from across North Carolina, including Hoots Beer Company, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, The Olde Mecklenberg Brewery, Foothills, and Natty Greene’s Brewing Company.

Visitors were invited to sample the latest beers from the breweries and speak face to face with the brewers and owners of the businesses.

The Porch Kitchen and Cantina provided an array of snacks and samples from its menu, namely tacos and chips and queso.

BeersNGears was also on hand to drum up some interest in the cycling and beer drinking bike club in Winston-Salem. The group holds various cycling events around the city, and was also at the SciWorks Repair Fair two weeks ago.

“One of the charges I had given myself when I started here was that we were not just a place for families with children,” McCauley added. “And this is a chance to come and explore the exhibits and not have to worry about a group of third graders coming up.”

The museum was open to visitors to peruse around, toy with the multitude of exhibits and puzzles, and experience the entirety of what SciWorks has to offer without hordes of children bustling around.

“I walk around with my logo on my shirt and people always say they love it, but that they haven’t been since they were in middle school,” McCauley said. She also acknowledged the fondness that everyone has for the museum.

One of the highlight exhibits of the night was the interactive virtual reality sand box. The custom built piece utilized the technology of Xbox Kinect to create virtual topography and weather patterns on a sandbox. If you build a pile of sand, the Kinect reads the change in height and layers snowcapped mountaintops on and around the topographical lines that delineate the change in elevation.

Other exhibits, such as the Foucault Pendulum swinging in the sun drenched atrium at the south end of the building, also played host to a group of onlookers, as did the sand-blasting wind tunnel exhibit in the main hall.

At the front door outside of the museum was the Winston-Salem Worthawgs Homebrew Club talking about the various stages of brewing beer at home.


SciWorks is located at 400 West Hanes Mill Road, Winston-Salem, 27105. Call (336)767-6730 for questions about upcoming exhibits and events, or visit