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?”