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Cognition museum opening – again

By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

It was the dream of many Davie residents. And they put their dollars with those dreams to open the county’s first children’s museum and teen and adult makerspace – Cognition.

A soft opening was held for supporters. Plans were in place for a grand opening.

That was March of 2020.

“Last year, we had our VIP event. A week later, the pandemic hit. That brought everything to a screeching halt,” said board member, Mike Ernst.

Now, activities are ramping back up at Cognition, a place where children age 1-9 can play in the interactive exhibits; and a place where teens and adults can go to make things in a “makerspace.”

Memberships purchased last year will remain in effect as the museum opens.

“We’re opening back up for fun things for kids and adults,” said Jessica White Huyett, site coordinator. “We have had strong support from the community.”

There are plans for Farm to Table meals, where food is purchased at the Mocksville Farmer’s Market next door, then brought back to Cognition for a cooking – and eating – demonstration.

There will be an Adulting 101 series, where teens can learn things such as financial literacy, things they will need to know to be a successful adult.

There are “cardboard engineering” camps, with rising 2nd-4th graders making a life-size train set; and rising 5th-8th graders making a full-size functional mini-golf course. Visit www.cognitiondavie.org/calendar to sign up, or stop by the museum on South 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. For reservations, send an email to info@cognitiondavie.org.

“People are jumping in to help again,” said Cammie Webb, chair of Cognition’s board of directors.

“It’s such an important asset to the community,” Huyett said. “ To be able to get people back into this space, interacting with each other and learning, that’s what we’re all about.”

Webb especially wants more use in the maker space, which has equipment for several tasks such as a laser cutter, 3-D printer and embroidery. It is open for any group to use, just call 336-753-1045 for details. Instructors, or class leaders, for these projects are also needed.

The museum – which has a kitchen – is also available for rent.

Cognition means “the mental action or process of aquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses.” It’s also the goal of the non-profit museum.

The idea for the museum grew from the Davie Community Foundation, which had purchased the building. More than $500,000 was raised to design and equip the museum. A non-profit, it relies on donations and fees to remain solvent.

The children’s museum takes children from the farm to the market to the plate in different exhibits. Others highlight the construction, textile and medical industries. All include hands-on, interactive activities.

Older youth can explore trade and career interestes in the makerspace. Classes can teach embroidery on fabrics, robotics, circuit boards, laser cutting, 3D printing, easels and art supplies are available, and a computer lab offers explorations in a variety of interests.

According to a release from the museum: “All of the steps along the pipeline are important for increasing the educational attainment of our community. A better educated community leads to a beetter educated work force. Imagine the impact this will have on the vitality of our community, the success of our employers, and the propsoerity of future generations – and it begins with play.”