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Going Zaniac For Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Greenwich women open children's learning center where the focus is on teaching kids about the sciences.

A Minecraft station at Zaniac Greenwich. Photo credit: Barbara Heins.
A Minecraft station at Zaniac Greenwich. Photo credit: Barbara Heins.

A pair of Greenwich moms who found themselves tutoring their children after school to help them learn more about science and math, have joined forces to open an after school learning center.

Camilla Gazal and Flavia Naslausky have joined forces with entrepreneur and economist Paul Zane Pilzer and established Zaniac Greenwich, a learning center where children in kindergarten through eighth-grade can have fun while learning math and science concepts. 

Zaniac Greenwich officially opened Dec. 10 on the second-floor office space above the CVS pharmacy, 644 W. Putnam Ave.

"We're working moms who had the dilemma of how could we be sure our kids are getting enough instruction to learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math," explained Naslausky, who like Gazal, is originally from Brazil and works in international finance. 

"We're passionate about STEM. But there wasn't any program after school the way parents can choose sports programs, or programs in the arts or theater for their children," Naslausky said.

A happenstance meeting last year with Pilzer on the ski slopes of Park City, UT, where he is based, led to a discussion on education and the STEM concept, Naslausky said. The women later met with him and were attracted by his concept of establishing a learning center where children can have fun while learning more about science and math.

Pilzer opened two Zaniac centers in the Salt Lake City area earlier this year where students are tutored in math, computer programming, Minecraft Explortion, LEGO robotics, chess and touch typing. There's also a homework center where children can complete their lessons.

All of these areas are incorporated into the Greenwich center where children will be tutored by a half-dozen Greenwich High School students and one from Fairfield Prep, hired through the Student Employment Service at Greenwich High School. The programs are offered in six-week increments and are tailored to each student's needs, Pilzer said.

"We test and teach what your kids don't know," he said. Naslausky said children are more open to learning in a fun environment with younger instructors who will be supervised by professionals.

What Naslausky said is most important is that students will have fun while learning the concepts that have now been embraced by Greenwich Public Schools, including Singapore math.

Programs cost $150 to $350. For  more information, check the website www.zaniaclearning.com/greenwich.

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