Zaniac is like school at its best – an active, inspiring place that is filled with friends and friends to be, where real math and technology learning is fun.
We are the go-to after-school activity for parents who want their children to develop a passion for exploring and innovating.
In 1975, at the University of Pennsylvania, 20-year-old graduate student Paul Zane Pilzer built one of the first interactive “teaching machines” on a mainframe computer. Pilzer envisioned back then that technology would one day make great education affordable for everyone, the same way phonographs and movies had made the work of great singers and actors affordable for everyone.
Pilzer went on to become a world-famous economist, college professor, bestselling author, white house official, and software developer of educational curriculum. But it wasn't until he and his wife had their own children that they realized what was missing from K-8 education: A fun physical location where kids could come and learn using Zane Math, a breakthrough approach to teaching math using paper and pencil but incorporating the latest technology for assessment, customized curriculum, and daily online parent-teacher feedback.
The Pilzers opened their first Zaniac campus teaching Zane Math in 2012 in Park City, Utah. As parents brought their children in for math, they often stayed a few minutes to talk about their hopes for their children, and the resources available to them.
What was surprising was the equal conviction with which parents believed that science, technology and engineering was also what their kids needed to need to achieve their potential and control their future. They wanted their children to love math and science, and particularly technology. They wanted their children to become self-directed, curious scientists with a love of “figuring out how the world works.” And we quickly learned that we needed to engage students in these subjects to help them learn to the best of their abilities and make learning fun.
So that's what we’ve built and will never stop building — a place where K-8 kids can master foundation skills, learn about math and technology, and become scientists — all while making new friends and having the time of their lives.
We know we’re doing it right when Zaniac kids (like ours) wake up early on a Saturday morning and say, “Puhleeease can I go to Zaniac?”
Adults think they are pretty smart, but in fact we have very little notion of how humans learn. Kids know: They play games that continually challenge their skills. Until, that is, they go to school. That’s when the games stop for many kids, particularly when the work they do in school is below, or above, their current level, or is work that they have already mastered somewhere else.
Continual challenge at every level equals fun and learning — and that's what is behind Zane Math and Zaniac’s other blended learning programs.
Zane Math divides all common core K-8 math into 60 distinct concepts with 12,000 problems in our computerized database. Students begin by taking a paper-and-pencil assessment to identify concepts they already know and concepts where they can improve. This handwritten assessment is scored, scanned and uploaded to their online desk at ZaniacLearning.com. Then, the computer is used to generate a paper-and-pencil, customized, 6-week 100-page curriculum, that is taught live, in a 5-student classroom with peer-based instruction and the latest technology. Each week your student's progress, concept by concept, is measured with an online handwritten milestone that compares what they've learned vs their original assessment — no concept is left behind.