By Jeanna Baxter White
COGNITION of Davie invites you to come play, learn, and grow as it kicks off its modified reopening on Wednesday, June 9th by partnering with Davie County Recreation and Parks for their free Mobile Rec Day from 10 a.m. – noon. A wealth of exciting special opportunities are also beginning including Camp Cognition Cardboard Engineering, Free Fridays, farm-to-table cooking activities, and Adulting 101 classes.
COGNITION is a community-driven, interactive space that promotes exploration, learning, and innovation with the goal of investing in current and future generations, explained Cammie Webb, chair of Cognition’s board of directors. “We offer our community an opportunity in-county for high-quality experiences. We provide a place where children from our area and surrounding areas can truly have real-life experiences through hands-on play.”
Upstairs features nearly 5,000 square feet of interactive exhibits for ages 9 and under and Hope’s Kitchen, a teaching kitchen for all ages. A farm-to-table theme takes children from the farm to the market to shopping for a balanced plate and preparing it in the food truck. From sewing garments to laying bricks, to investigating slides under the microscope, children get a basic introduction to some of the industries in Davie County.
Downstairs, the Grady L. McClamrock Makerspace is equipped for crafting, tinkering, and hands-on exploration for ages 10 to 100. Youth will be able to explore trade and career interests with hands-on learning opportunities. Classes and workshops on a variety of topics will offer opportunities for all ages to explore and learn new skills. Those interested in textiles can learn to sew and embroider on a variety of fabrics on the sewing and embroidery machines. Robots, circuit boards, a laser cutter, 3D printer, easels and art supplies, and computer lab all offer exploration of a variety of interests; whether for personal enjoyment or investigation of potential careers. Webb hopes to build classes around each piece of equipment and is seeking “makers in residence” to teach them. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Initiated in 2017 by the Davie Community Foundation (DCF), the vision for COGNITION was adopted by the community, and the capital campaign raised $500,000 for exhibit design and building renovations. The museum opened in March 2020 only to close two weeks later because of COVID-19.
“It’s been a hard year for everybody,” said Jessica Huyett, site coordinator. “We are excited to finally be able to reopen. We are a great resource for kids to get hands-on engagement as well as interaction with other kids their age.”
“Parents are hungry for places for their kids to go after a year of staying at home and limited in-person learning,” added Webb. “This gives them an opportunity to be social again.”
Initially, COGNITION will be open Wednesday-Friday with a morning session from 9:30-11:30 and an afternoon session from 1:30-3:30 with an additional morning session on Saturdays from 9:30-11:30. The museum is making every effort to keep visitors safe as they begin to reopen. An air scrubber was installed thanks to a donation from DCF and exhibits are thoroughly cleaned after each session.
Advanced registration is required so check out the calendar page on the website at www.cognitiondavie.org/calendar to reserve your spot. Memberships purchased last year will be honored until the end of 2022. The museum is available to rent for birthday parties (there are special packages available) and other events. Call (336) 753-1046 for details.
Registration is also open on the calendar page for two special activities, Camp Cognition Cardboard Engineering and Free Fridays.
Huyett is particularly excited about the cardboard engineering camps that are being made possible by Ashley Furniture Industries which is providing all of the supplies.
“Rising 2nd – 4th graders will get to design and construct a life-sized train set while rising 5th – 8th graders will design and construct a full-sized functional mini-golf course. Families will be invited to play the courses on Friday of the final week of camp, July 23rd.”
“This is such a terrific opportunity for the students in our community for exciting hands-on learning. The camps will teach creativity and collaboration, as well as technical skills like measuring in a fun and engaging way. We have limited capacity, so reserve your spot right away!” Visit www.cognitiondavie.org/calendar to sign up, or stop by the museum on North Salisbury Street in Downtown Mocksville.
Thanks to a grant from the Mebane Foundation, Free Fridays allows children age 0-7 to visit the upstairs museum beginning on Friday, June 11. “The Mebane Foundation understands that interactive play is an important learning tool for young children and we are so grateful for their support,” said Webb.”
There are plans for Farm to Table cooking classes for 3rd – 5th graders one Wednesday afternoon each month. Participants will walk over to the Mocksville Farmer’s Market next door and purchase fruits and vegetables and then go back to COGNITION for a healthy cooking – and eating – demonstration while learning about where their food comes from.
This fall, COGNITION and Davie 4H will join forces to offer Adulting 101, a series of classes where teens can learn skills like financial literacy to help them become successful adults.
As a non-profit, COGNITION must generate revenue from admissions, fees, donations, and grants to pay for expenses. Webb said the museum is always in need of volunteers as well as donors.
“We are so appreciative to the community for helping raise the funds to build the exhibits and the makerspace. We have such a giving community and we want this space to be able to give back,” said Webb.
Cognition is located at 119 N. Salisbury St. next door to the Davie Community Foundation in Mocksville. The museum offers nearly 5,000 square feet of interactive exhibits for ages 10 and under, and a hands-on Makerspace for crafting, tinkering, and making for all ages. Admission is $5 per person for the upstairs exhibit area, with separate admission for the Makerspace.
Annual memberships start at $50 (one adult, two children).
The gears are still turning – follow COGNITION on Facebook and Instagram for additional events and updates. You can also visit www.cognitiondavie.org, email email@example.com, or call (336) 753-1046.