Denver Comic Con is less than 2 weeks away, and here at Pop Culture Classroom we’re using every last midichlorian and the occasional Jedi mind trick to make sure that this year’s Con is the best ever. One of the areas we’re most excited about in 2015 is the Pop Culture Classroom Kids’ Laboratory, which will showcase the biggest, smartest, and coolest range of educational programming this side of the multiverse.
Now you might be asking yourself, “What do you mean by coolest?” To which we’d answer, “How about 7 awesome areas, all focused around STEAM and pop culture topics for fans of all ages?” And if that doesn’t convince you, we could also mention the dozens of community organizations, presentations, live demos, workshops, arts & crafts, and interactive activities going on throughout the Con—not to mention a whole team of volunteers dedicated to making your weekend an absolute blast.
Now, if you’re still on the fence, here are some specifics about the PCC Kids Lab guaranteed to get you even more excited about stopping by this must-see area at DCC 2015.
We’ll start with the PCC Kids Lab’s wonderfully geek-tastic 8-Bit Lounge, where young makers and DIYers will find real-world tools they need to build their very own comics, games, robots, cartoons, and other creative projects from the ground up.
Among our 8-Bit Lounge exhibitors will be King of the Nerds, who’ll be throwing a “Nerd Off” of epic proportions on Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25. We’ll also be geeking out all weekend with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra as they host a hybrid music workshop and teach kids to play instruments. If you’re lucky, you can even hear the Symphony’s DCC 2015 Quartet play some pop culture fan favorites.
Other amazing organizations featured in the 8-Bit Lounge include Red Tempest Media, publishers of the graphic novel Handicape—a story about a superhero in a wheelchair—who’ll be speaking to guests about creating diversity in comics.
Joining them will be Colorado’s own LIFE Under Construction (LUC) Comics and its creators, Scooter Hughes and Lim Tig, who will discuss the ins and outs of independent comic book creation.
But let’s say (perhaps even hypothesize?) that science and technology are more your speed. Good news! At this year’s PCC Kids Lab, you’ll have the chance to talk with game developers, engineers, and scientists from all over the nation about everything from model-building to space travel.
At the PCC Kids’ Lab Teen Craft Area, presenters ready to blow your minds (not literally, we hope) include the likes of the Co.M.M.i.E.S. , the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and even N.A.S.A’s Southwest Research Institute, who’ll be showing students how to create their own Playdoh model of the solar system. We’re also bringing in Colorado planetary scientists for a special “Stump the Science Chump” panel, where you can ask all your burning questions about the universe.
Aspiring science sleuths will feel right at home at the first-ever Barry Allen’s Forensics Lab, where you will dust for fingerprints, measure bite marks, and search for clues scattered throughout the Lab. Stop by the Lab throughout the weekend to serve up a little justice Denver Comic Con style.
As for the countless budding artists and writers out there: Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you! The PCC Kids’ Lab will feature a wide range of interactive presentations, live demonstrations, and Q&A sessions with authors and comic book artists at the top of their fields. We’re even bringing in the creative hivemind of Lighthouse Writers Workshop to our Community Square, where they’ll join organizations like the Colorado Rockies in showing attendees how pop culture can turn from a hobby into a career.
Other special 2015 PCC Kids Lab speakers include:
- Star Wars’ Kaela Croft talking about developing characters for one of the most beloved fictional universes
- Artist Monte M. Moore sharing techniques for creating airbrush artwork
- Bestselling author Jason Henderson talking about creating fictional worlds in novels
- Trading card artist Rhiannon Owens sharing her experiences working with some of the biggest players in the industry like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and Stark Trek.
- The artistic team of Becker & Bendert discussing what it’s like to collaborate with a creative partner.
Perhaps the most well known speaker on PCC Kids’ Lab’s docket is Original Power Ranger Austin St. John, who will be discussing his personal background, martial arts, acting, and the experiences that lead him to a life in front of the camera. Joining him will be a few more surprise celebrity guests along the way, so make sure you keep your spidey senses tuned to the PCC Kids Lab all weekend (past guests have included William Shatner and Adam West!).
Younger fans will also love the PCC Kids Lab All Ages Stage, which will feature tons of arts & crafts activities, live demonstrations, music, and even the occasional story-time reading. Afterwards, kids and parents alike can put their experience into action at the All Ages Craft Area, where you can create your own superhero outfit, mix galaxy goo, and build a scale model of Tony Stark’s tower. Where else can an arts & crafts activity leave you feeling like this:
Last but not least, the Pop Culture Classroom Info Booth is where you can find out about all things PCC, including our brand new curriculum, Storytelling Through Comics, and the many workshops, events, and activities we have going on all throughout the year. We’ll also have the always entertaining Green Screen for visitors to transform into their favorite comic book, sci-fi, and cartoon characters, plus a Face Painting and Balloon Shaping Specialist.
Whatever you’re seeking at this year’s Denver Comic Con—be it kid-friendly arts & crafts, inspiration for your video game in-progress, or just a break from the bustling crowds—please join us as we jumpstart creativity with activities for fans of all ages at this year’s Pop Culture Classroom Laboratory.