This is a guest post from my hubby, Jason. We were invited to learn more about Zaniac and we thought he would be the very best person to write this post since he is a teacher and knows so much about this subject.
Hey all, it’s Jason (Becky’s husband). Many of you know I am a Teacher; let me tell you what my teaching philosophy is. I have always thought for a long time that public education exists to train the next generation of workers. The emphasis is on obedience, punctuality, following instructions, and not rocking the boat. “Education” has, by necessity, become a place where we teach students to be obedient rather than flexible, and follow instructions, rather than think. By the time students reach my class in Jr. High they want me to simply give them a worksheet with instructions on it and a fill in the blank section that is easy to do and then they get it done and turn it in for their A.
Now I am deliberately being hard on public education here because I believe there are some important movements in education that could change things very much for the better. One of those is the concept of natural learning. I am sure someone with a PH.D actually knows what the theory is called but that is what I call it. In essence, all of us possess an innate sense of curiosity about the world around us. It is extremely human and quite powerful. As we grow up we explore the world with all of our senses and seek to understand. We ask poignant questions and try to have them answered in a way that satisfies our understanding. As we enter the structured element of the classroom that slowly gets put in the back of our minds as we learn things in the order and the way that the teacher decides until we virtually forget to ask questions. We are motivated by getting the grade rather than getting the answers to our questions.
Recently it was discovered that the United States falls behind many other nations in our understanding of what is referred to as S.T.E.M, which is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. These are very important subjects in our world today because they are imperative to our success as an innovative nation in a modern technology and science driven world.
Zaniac is a breath of fresh air. They currently have two locations in Utah, one in Sugar House and one in Park City. Zaniac has created a situation where students can not only learn with their own natural curiosity but they have focused their programs around S.T.E.M. education. The result is a fun and exciting learning environment that stimulates the inner curiosity in all of us. They begin by assessing each kid to see where their weaknesses are and then they provide opportunities to explore and learn by play. Getting back to the basics of how our brains learn and how they seek answers to questions, learning about engineering and computer programming by building lego robots and playing minecraft! Learning problem solving by playing strategy games. It is a welcome respite from the oppressive structure of the classroom. The employees all have extensive backgrounds in the S.T.E.M. subjects. Many of them are trained educators as well as having backgrounds in engineering or Science fields.
Most of their programs run in 6-week sessions, with the exception of the Edison Club which is a monthly program. They also have Summer and Spring Break Camp. If your students are struggling to enjoy these subjects, swing by and give them a look. Your kids might just discover their love of learning again and it could propel them to a new height of accomplishment.
Spring Break Camp, Summer Camp and Parents Night Out:
Heads up!!! If you are looking for ways to keep your child learning and engaged while they are on break from school, Zaniac is a perfect option! They offer Spring Break Camp (April 14-18 from 9am to 12pm or 1 to 4 pm) and Summer Camps (June-August) in all of their programs. They also have Parents Night Out events at both locations a couple times a month where you can drop your kids off for a fun, educational evening, while you and your husband or significant other go out on a date.
Now, on to the giveaway!! Zaniac in Sugar House wants you to be able to try out one of their 6-week programs, so they are giving away a gift certificate to one of our readers to use on one of the following programs of your choice:
Minecraft, Lego Robotics, Chess, Touch Typing, or Computer Programming
(The Gift Certificate is for use at the Sugar House location only.)
Zaniac Sugar House Campus 1045 East 2100 South, SLC
Zaniac Park City Campus 6030 North Market Street, Park City