Photo courtesy of Zaniac

Photo courtesy of Zaniac

A new after-school program coming on April 19 to Asheville will highlight STEM subjects through LEGOs, Minecraft, 3D printing and fashion design.

The after-school program is called Zaniac, which is a national STEM enrichment center. The Asheville location will offer programs and camps to kids to encourage them to pursue STEM careers. The programs are hands-on and encourage them to explore.

Reed Bilbray, who started the Asheville location, told Citizen Times that he recognized Zaniac’s potential right away.

“When I learned about Zaniac, I immediately know I wanted to open a Zaniac Learning Center in the greater Asheville community,” Bilbray said. “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 the grow up.”

Co-owner and campus director Lynne Porter said her experience with different education styles drew her to Zaniac.

“Zaniac has a business philosophy that is my personal mission statement: ‘Let’s give kids the confidence to be curious again,” Porter told Citizen Times.

The other co-owners are Nancy Duggan, Colin Roberston, Dana Harris, Patricia Page and Dr. Stephen Page. The new location will be at One Town Square Blvd., Suite 120. Attending the opening ceremony on April 19 is former NASA astronaut Dr. John Herrington, who will be available for kids to take pictures with from 5 to 8 p.m.