KidSenses Children's Interactive Museum has received a $550,000 contribution from the Glenn and Lucille Daniel Foundation to support Phase 2 construction of The FACTORY - A Place to Meet and Make. When completed, The FACTORY, KidSenses Children's Interactive Museum, and Discovery Garden will comprise a 27,000 square foot museum complex.
"This is the largest single gift the museum has received for the FACTORY, and we are honored and grateful to have this support," says Willard Whitson, Executive Director. Mr. Whitson continued, "The Glenn and Lucille Hampton Daniel Foundation will be recognized as the presenting sponsor for the FACTORY. Glenn and Lucy Daniel were long time supporters of the Museum, and this gift is a tribute to their passion for our mission. Along with the generous support of Facebook, RHI Legacy Foundation, Stonecutter Mills Foundation, the Town of Rutherfordton, Timken Foundation, and others, this grant ensures that we are on schedule to complete Phase 2 construction (the largest of three phases) by mid to late summer."
The FACTORY is the Museum's exciting new STEM learning center which will provide fun and challenging activities in a variety of maker zones. The Tech Lab will have state of the art technology including laser cutters, 3D printers and more; the Make It Place will house conventional hand and power tools; the Food Studio will be a fully functioning kitchen where our visitors can bring the same maker mindset to the culinary arts; and the Idea Zone will be the ultimate collaborative space for youth to "dream and team" as they envision their projects.
Lucille Daniel, whose roots are in Rutherfordton, was a renowned educator who taught biology at both RS Central and East Rutherford High Schools. She was the recipient of numerous awards including NC Western Region Outstanding Teacher Award, NC Science Teacher Association Distinguished Service in Science Education Award, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics presented by President Ronald Reagan. Ms. Daniel began authoring science textbooks while teaching at RS Central. After retiring, she continued writing, authoring or co-authoring over 520 textbooks. Prior to establishing The Glenn and Lucille Hampton Daniel Foundation in 2005, both Glenn and Lucy spent their time serving and supporting many organizations in the county. Glenn was well known for securing donations and sponsorships for Rutherford County Relay for Life and other organizations for which they were passionate. Today, the Board continues to support these types of programs with the goal of enriching lives in the surrounding communities. "The Foundation Board is honored to further the mission established by Glenn and Lucy to aid KidSenses to afford young people opportunities to build twenty-first century knowledge and skills in such an inviting atmosphere which will make them college and workforce ready," states Shay Guffey, Board member and niece of Glenn and Lucy Daniel.
"It is a fitting tribute to this remarkable educator, that her legacy will be associated with an institution dedicated to inspiring youth to develop an appetite for learning and to use their knowledge to lead healthy productive lives," says Mr. Whitson. "Increasingly, jobs in our region reflect a STEM based economy, and THE FACTORY will help our youth acquire the knowledge and develop the skills necessary to succeed in this future work environment."
KidSenses Children's Interactive Museum is located at 172 N. Main Street in Historic Downtown Rutherfordton. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the museum is currently closed. For more information about our FACTORY expansion and future reopening plans, please visit www.kidsenses.org or www.factorymuseum.org.