Zaniac, national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) after-school enrichment centers where learning feels like play, will open its first North Carolina campus on Tuesday, April 19. The Zaniac Asheville Campus is located in Biltmore Park Town Square at One Town Square Boulevard, Suite 120.
Zaniac offers programs and camps that get kids excited about math and technology while preparing them for 21st century jobs. Zaniac’s fun enrichment programs engage kids in creative, conceptual problem solving that builds confidence and helps them succeed in school by nurturing their love of learning. Popular programs include Zaniac Robotics: LEGO®, Game-Based Learning: Minecraft™, 3D Printing, App Creation, Fashion Design and Computer Programming. The colorful campus features glass-walled classrooms with white boards and large multimedia screens, as well as a variety of tools to engage students in real-world applications of STEM subjects.
Reed Bilbray, who works with Zaniac founder Paul Zane Pilzer, started Zaniac Asheville.
“When I learned about Zaniac, I immediately knew I wanted to open a Zaniac Learning Center in the greater Asheville community. My wife and I were actively looking for a business to start and grow in Asheville, and Zaniac met our desire to enrich children’s lives, offer valuable employment opportunities, and serve as a positive model for our young girls as they grow up.”
Bilbray co-owns the Asheville location with a team of business partners includingLynne Porter, Nancy Duggan, Colin Roberston, Dana Harris, Patricia Page and former Henderson County School Superintendent Dr. Stephen Page.
Porter will also serve as campus director. Porter has extensive experience in education, banking and corporate finance, and previously lived in Barcelona, Spain, where she started an English language academy to teach English as a second language (ESL). Porter said that because of her experience with several different education systems in different countries, she saw the need for quality instruction for children and an encouraging support system to break down stigmas.
“Zaniac has a business philosophy that is my personal mission statement: ‘Let’s give kids the confidence to be curious again,’” said Porter. “I want to empower young children to strengthen their self-esteem through a world of discovery. I hope that all children who come through our doors will discover their passion and leave with the tools they need to explore their future with confidence.”
The Asheville campus marks the first Zaniac location in North Carolina and the tenth location for the company. The franchise currently has campuses in Utah, Florida, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California and Texas. The fast-growing brand plans to reach 50 campuses total by 2017.
“Zaniac in Asheville provides an ideal solution for parents looking to get their kids involved in STEM education during their formative years,” said Zaniac President and Co-Founder Sidharth Oberoi. “We’re dedicated to creating innovative STEM programs for students to explore a variety of fields and are confident Zaniac will become the go-to after-school program for Asheville-area families looking for fun and rewarding options for educational enrichment.”
Bilbray added, “I am committed to making the Zaniac Asheville campus a fun, safe and inspiring learning environment for children.”
Zaniac in Asheville will celebrate its grand opening on Tuesday, April 19 and invites all guests to visit between 5 and 8 p.m. as former NASA Astronaut Dr. John Herrington officially opens the campus. Bring your kids to get their picture taken with a real astronaut.