Every once in a while, I get people emailing me out of the blue and asking me to try new things and post about them on my blog. Usually it is kid-related stuff (I wonder why?), but I'm good with that. Clear back in the summer when we were still on our Stay-cation, Zaniac asked me if I would like to bring my kids over to try out their K - 8th STEM program.
The kids were excited about this opportunity, but with my crazy schedule, it took me about 3 months to finally clear the calendar and make it happen. It's Baby Doll's birthday and I thought she would enjoy this new and different activity.
I was completely right.
We visited the Sugarhouse location although there are a dozen or so Zaniacs in the US. The building is purple. BRIGHT purple! It made it pretty easy to find. We didn't have any idea what to expect and we were pleasantly surprised to find kids and bigger kids there to help us play and learn at the same time.
Our coach was Derek and he started the kids with something he called Little Bits. They were basically electricity blocks that could be connected in various ways to make buzzers, lights, you get the idea. Scout was so excited to bring me her little house she made out of Legos with a working light.
They were then escorted into another room where Eddie taught them how to build a robot. I stayed out in the common room and when they were ready, they drove it out to show me. I guess I wasn't amazed enough because they took it back in and made it even more thrilling with helicopter-type blades. Their third iteration had some issues since they put the wheels on two different remotes. Unless they were willing to work together completely, that robot wasn't going anywhere very fast.
Their last class was Minecraft. Baby Doll had never played before, but it wasn't long before she was running the controls like a pro. Curly just wanted to knock down anything he could find in his little virtual world and Scout made a huge glass house in hers.
They were asking me when we could go back and if they could choose the classes this time. If your kids are into math and science, Zaniac has classes and day camps and an extensive after-school program that even helps kids complete their homework. Molly helped us out and I'm sure she would love to talk to you too. Their website has all that information for you.
But if you show up and Curly is still playing Minecraft, stay out of his virtual world... he still needs to figure out the difference between con-struction and de-struction.