Finally: Cognition holds official ribbon cutting as programs increase

Published 9:53 am Thursday, August 25, 2022

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By Jeanna Baxter White

Word Master Media Group

Cognition Davie celebrated its first full year of fostering childhood learning and exploration with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Davie County Chamber of Commerce.

“We are always excited about Cognition,” said Mocksville Mayor Will Marklin.“We know this is something that has been in the works for years. COVID put the brakes on it for a little while, but now we are glad to see it have new life. Cognition is a wonderful asset for the town and we are thankful to all those who helped make it happen.”

Located at 119 N. Salisbury St. in Mocksville, Cognition Davie is a community-driven, interactive space that promotes exploration, learning, and innovation with the goal of investing in current and future generations.

Upstairs features  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 shop for a balanced plate and prepare 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 and above.

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.

A laser cutter, 3D printer, easels and art supplies, and a computer lab all offer exploration of a variety of interests; whether for personal enjoyment or investigation of potential careers.

In addition to its interactive spaces, Cognition has programs and demonstrations for all ages, such as beekeeping and sheep shearing, Camp Cognition, wine and DIY classes for adults, and Adulting 101 for teens. Children have participated in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) activities including the chance to meet a 100 lb African spurred tortoise before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Speaking on behalf of Cognition, Board Member Mike Ernst thanked the attendees for coming.

“We are glad to have you all here at this ribbon cutting that was delayed a bit. If you happened to be here back when we had our VIP event (spring 2020) we were looking forward to a rocket start. Two weeks later the brakes came on for pretty much two years …but we are back.”

He urged the crowd to remember that Cognition, like every children’s museum in the country, is a non-profit and relies on donations.

“What we really need to do is expand our community awareness and expand our donor base which is what will make us successful long-term and we can bring more people, not just from Davie County, but from Rowan County, Davidson County, and Forsyth County to come and experience this.

“This is a great opportunity for each and every one of us to treasure and enjoy this addition to the community. When you get a museum you can step out because you have something different that other towns don’t have. The only other small town that I know of in the area that has a museum is Statesville and it’s not a children’s museum,” Ernst said.

He thanked donors and urged attendees to encourage others to become donors. “We want to be able to expand this facility and do a lot of great things.”

Becca Lard, education center manager, shared about the school field trips and other programming she has been planning for the coming year.

“When I was a teacher, my favorite thing was to encourage a love of learning in young minds. I look forward to continuing to do that through building awesome programs and classes here at Cognition.”

She also invited everyone to the Cognition Carnival and Touch-a-Truck fundraiser on Sept. 24t  from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. “This fundraiser is a great way to show your support. The whole goal is to raise money to support Cognition, while also having fun and reaching new people.”

The Cognition Carnival and Touch-A-Truck will provide the opportunity for families to experience some of the fun and engaging activities Cognition offers all year long.

The grassy lawn will become the “Midway” with fair-themed games and contests.

Inside the Cognition building, attendees will see the space has been transformed into an “Exhibition Hall” where children will enter STEAM related projects to win ribbons.

There will be fair food available for purchase and other family-friendly entertainment.

The Touch-A-Truck showcase will be held across the street in the town hall parking lot and along Salisbury Street. Children and adults will be able to explore vehicles of all types – public service, emergency, utility, transportation, recreational, farm, construction, delivery, and trucks – all in one place.

Tickets are $20 for a family pass for four (tickets for additional family members are $3) and $6 an individual. Purchase tickets online at

Jessica White Huyett, site coordinator, expressed appreciation for the support Cognition has received.

“We would not have survived the pandemic without it. We are really thankful for everyone and really excited about everything to come. Just yesterday Becca and I were walking through the museum and wondering how we can make it even better. This place is already awesome, people love it, kids love it, but how can we make it even better? As Mike mentioned, those improvements will cost additional money.

“I hear too many people tell me, ‘Oh, Mocksville has a children’s museum? I had no idea’,” she said.

“In addition to monetary support, please spread the word. This is a great place that doesn’t need to be a hidden gem, it just needs to be a gem.  Donations of all sizes are welcome, and every penny counts.”


Admission is $5 per person for the upstairs exhibit area, with separate admission for the Makerspace.

Annual memberships are:  $100 for a family of two, $150 for a family of 4, and additional family members $25 each.

Follow Cognition on Facebook and Instagram for additional events and updates. Visit, email, or call (336) 753-1046.