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Pop Culture Classroom’s programs at FAN EXPO Denver have always been special. This year, our team took it to the next level with an awesome weekend of inspiration, creativity, learning, and fun.

By Chris Burley and Emilee Klein

Here at Pop Culture Classroom, FAN EXPO Denver is a pretty big deal.

FAN EXPO Denver is Colorado’s largest celebration of popular culture — with more than 80,000 estimated attendees this year. Our participation in this event enables Pop Culture Classroom to connect with students, educators, and families and create one-of-a-kind opportunities for kids to learn, create, and connect using pop culture.

This year’s event took place Friday, June 30 to Sunday, July 2 — and was jam-packed with incredible memories and moments of discovery. Here are a few scenes from an amazing weekend. 

FAN EXPO Denver Kick-off

Not many professional development sessions feature a sitting governor, let alone a sitting governor AND a big screen legend.

Nonetheless, 2023’s Educators’ Day attendees were treated to both, as Colorado Governor Jared Polis addressed educators before celebrated actor Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future, The Addams Family) joined the governor for a selfie.

Our Experience the Comics program brought in 91% more middle and high school students compared to last year’s attendance, offering many an opportunity for no-cost career exploration and fun at FAN EXPO Denver they may not otherwise have had.

Pop Culture Classroom at FAN EXPO Denver

Throughout the weekend, we featured 25 programming sessions and panels for educators and adults about comics, role-playing games, science, and other topics.

Pop Culture Classroom’s All-Ages stage hosted 26 stage shows, including Superhero Yoga, a reading of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree by Sarah Natochenny (Pokémon), an Addams Family Dance Party, and a live demonstration of capoeira dance and martial arts.  

History Colorado treated attendees to many activities exploring Colorado’s history, including making “South Park” style characters. The Colorado School of Mines wowed with cool science demonstrations and experiments.

The School of Rock – Boulder performed live and offered families a chance to play different instruments and explore their musical interests. And kids and families worked with Project Helping to prepare hundreds of literacy kits with reading materials for kids in need. 

The Epic Portal Pursuit challenged players to choose characters, use their special abilities, and reach an interdimensional doorway by solving a series of escape room-style challenges and puzzles. 

Over the course of the weekend kids, families, and pop culture fans created hundreds of personalized fantasy maps in the Kids’ lab Explorers’ Guild sponsored by Meininger Art Supply

The Kids’ Lab was also a great place to check out some of the best cosplay at the show. 

Mandalorian cosplay in the Kids' Lab

Finally, Pop Culture Classroom’s work at FAN EXPO Denver wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of volunteers . Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s event awesome! 

Donate to Support Literacy, Learning, and Connection

Pop Culture Classroom believes educators should not have to pay out-of-pocket for curriculum and resources. As a non-profit organization, we rely on support from the community to continue our valuable work and provide resources at no-cost. 

By contributing to the cause, you can help provide access to engaging and educational resources that inspire young minds to become lifelong learners.

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