It all starts with a scoop of dirt! The Davie Community Foundation (DCF) broke ground last week on COGNITION, an interactive learning center and makerspace coming to downtown Mocksville in January 2020.

The mission of COGNITION is to create an interactive space for children, families, and the community to acquire knowledge through adventurous play, investigative learning, and creative growth.

Jane Simpson, president of the Foundation, envisions COGNITION as a space where learners of all ages are able to ask questions and then discover answers through inspiring learning. “The exhibits and programming will have a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) focus. From the factory floor to the executive suite, workers skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math are essential in today’s market. Employers want both entry-level employees and upper management to be equipped with critical thinking skills, problem-solving ability, and a teamwork mindset. The Davie Community Foundation fostered the creation of COGNITION to fulfill our vision to equip our next generation with enthusiasm for STEAM concepts and to facilitate a qualified workforce for the community. At COGNITION, young learners will have early opportunities to explore career paths through real-life STEAM situations and hands-on learning as they build the skills Davie County needs for tomorrow.”

“By collaborating with local businesses and additional partners, COGNITION will act as a catalyst for workforce development and equip families to engage with their community.”

Hands-on exhibits will highlight our community’s past as well as its future. Below is a list of exhibits currently under consideration for the learning center although they are still being developed and subject to change:


Agricultural Avenue will highlight the agricultural industries of our community featuring seasonal crops specific to our county, a tractor element, water and energy elements, a chicken coop, and ways to learn about weather.

Market Lane will blend the look of a brick and mortar grocery store and an open-air farmers market with an interactive checkout counter, stocked shelves, and dress up and pretend play elements.

This open-air food hall will feature a Food Truck vignette and focus on health and wellness. With the back of the food truck being a mock kitchen, young minds can explore what it means to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Weavers Way allows for the exploration of the textile industry with an interactive loom, spinning elements, a pulley system, and a sliding shuttle.

With a focus on hands-on interactive tinkering, Construction Court will be a living house with “real” interactive building activities. This exhibit will show the inner workings of a structure with pipes, wiring, and electrical connectivity. With blueprints and an interactive bulldozer, imaginations can run wild.

Built for children ages 0-2, Little COG Corner will be enclosed with multi-sensory interactive walls and seating that encourages the interaction of parents with their learners.

The makerspace will include tools and equipment for people of all ages to enjoy tinkering and creating. Planned options include:  laser cutter, table top router, tabletop milling, home and industrial sewing and textiles, circuit vinyl cutter, a  large variety of art materials, small electronics for building and tinkering, and various smaller tools and machinery that may be used to accomplish a project.

History of COGNITION: The Community Spoke and the Community Foundation Listened
In 2016, the Davie Community Foundation (DCF) purchased the building located next door to their office on N. Salisbury Street. Their goal was to make an impact investment to continue to improve downtown Mocksville and find a use that would revive an older building while benefitting the entire Davie County community. DCF reached out to the community for feedback about the best use of the building and brought a variety of community leaders together to discuss self-sustaining uses for the space. After more than a year of research, conversations, and visits to other communities, it was agreed that an interactive children’s museum and makerspace had the best chance to meet all of the criteria. The DCF Board approved moving forward with COGNITION in February 2018.

In April 2018, COGNITION of Davie County was incorporated and a new board was established from interested citizens including two recent graduates of Davie County High School who have returned to Davie County to live and work! The eleven-member board is comprised of a variety of talents including educators, school principals, attorney, non-profit leader, educational consultant, early childhood specialist, marketing, design, and finance. Committees have also been formed comprised of passionate citizens who want to share their talents and expertise in order to make COGNITION a reality!

A capital campaign for $500,000 has begun to support the renovation and development of the space. Your donation will be a COG in the wheel of progress as COGNITION of Davie County becomes a reality!  A COG transfers motion by engaging with projections on another wheel. Just as every COG is essential to the running of an engine, the support of donors like you is essential to creating an interactive space that promotes exploration, learning, and innovation.

Donations of all sizes are appreciated and a number of named opportunities are available. Named COGS may be purchased in three sizes for display in the building: $1,000 –  Exploration, $2,500 – Learning, or $5,000 – Innovation. Checks can be made out to COGNITION Davie, P.O. Box 816, Mocksville, NC 27028.

The community is invited to a preview of exhibits on Thursday, May 9th from 8:30- 11 a.m. at COGNITION Davie at 119 N. Salisbury St. Mocksville, NC.

To learn more about COGNITION, visit the Cognition Davie on Facebook or visit



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