If your kid is going to be spending their spring break playing Minecraft they may as well be gaining something more out of it than expanding their imaginary world.

Enter Zaniac, a company that offers STEM enrichment after-school programs and camps for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The organization aims to deliver a math and science experience that engages, motivates, and excites kids while making their parents proud about providing them with a real academic advantage.

The STEM-based learning program has a campus in Santa Monica that will be hosting spring break camps March 21 – April 1 to give students a chance to keep learning over their break, while still having fun.

During the camps kids will do activities such as LEGO robotics, tinkering, 3D printing, computer programming and play the addictive Minecraft to learn about physics.

Santa Monica campus owner, Tracy Williams, who has worked in the tech industry in Silicon Valley, said she enjoys taking things she knows kids love and see as “non-school related” and using them as teaching tools.

“I love that we are teaching them STEM through these fun things that they normally only get to do after their chores,” Williams said.

Williams said that Zaniac’s spring break camp is a good way for students and their parents to learn about the curriculum the center offers.

“The camp is basically a sampling of our core curriculum,” Williams said. “Our regular schedule is afterschool. For the spring break we will take the content of our six-week courses and shorten them and do them in a three-hour block. So during the whole two weeks of the break we will rotate the curriculum.

“And really it’s a good thing, because if parents don’t want to make a six-week commitment, then we give them a camp that helps kids explore all our areas and see which one they are more drawn too. So the camps are really a great way to help parents try the curriculum.”

A full day at the Zaniac spring break camp, which goes from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and includes lunch, costs $169 for a single day; $459 for any three days; and $749 for any five days. A half-day at camp, which goes from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. or 1 – 4 p.m., costs $99 for a single day; $249 for any three days; and $399 for any five days.

To parents who may question whether the cost of the camp is worth it, Williams used the comparison of what the kids would be doing otherwise.

“I think we are probably at the going rate of an all-day babysitter,” Williams said. “And here kids are leaving with a concept that they didn’t understand, or are probably more aware of than they were before.

“When kids go home after a day at camp we hear from parents that are very impressed with even the basics the children are learning in just the first 10 minutes of class.”

Zaniac Santa Monica is located at 3201 Wilshire Blvd. Call (424) 330-0008 to enroll in Zaniac’s spring break programs. Space is limited. For more information, visit https://www.zaniaclearning.com/santamonica/.

jennifer@www.smdp.com