Educational Panels & Programming

Our educational programming offers educators, parents, and creators the chance to:

  • LEARN how to leverage pop culture media to further their craft
  • DISCUSS how popular culture resources, events, and media can inspire youth and lead to greater social change
  • DEVELOP new ways to integrate pop culture into their classrooms, homes, and local communities with an eye for creativity and inclusivity.


FRI 11amPop Culture Classroom Presents: Educators’ Day Keynote Panel – Comics for Kids and Teens, and Preparing Youth to be Tomorrow’s CreativesEducators’ Day Exclusive: Registered Educators’ Day attendees can join Pop Culture Classroom and select Children’s and YA comic creators to kick off a day of learning a fun at FAN EXPO Denver! Learn how the professionals create content for kids and teens, and what we can do to prepare our youth to be the next generation of creators. 
FRI 12pmPop Culture Classroom Presents: Using Pop Culture to Make Young LeadersEducators’ Day Exclusive: Our kids’ and teens’ favorite fandoms can be used to teach and reinforce social/emotional skills and turn them into young leaders! Join Pop Culture Classroom as we teach you how!
FRI 1pmThe Science Of: The Power of Pop Culture in the STEM ClassroomEducators’ Day Exclusive: What can Iceman, Star Wars, and James Bond teach us about thermochemistry, planetary science and physics? Join Matt and Shari Brady, long-time STEM educators and co-founders of to learn about why STEM Ed needs pop culture, the benefits of using pop culture in your classroom, and some best practices so you can give it a try for yourself!
FRI 2:30pmPop Culture Classroom Presents: Creativity and Comics Activities, K-12Looking for practical activites to use in your classroom to boost creativity and engage students’ love for comics? Or just looking for ways to break up the classroom routine? Join PCC’s Education Program Mager, Matt Slayter, as he demonstrates creative activies for K-12 students in this interactive session. 
FRI 3:30pmHistory Colorado: Casa Bonita Museum of Memory ProjectWhat’s your favorite memory of Casa Bonita? How many sopapillas do you think you’ve eaten over the years? History Colorado staff members demonstrate how to lead a Museum of Memory history project that explores our shared memories of this special place. Educators will leave with a strategy for collecting stories with students about the history of where they live. Museum of Memory projects promote civic engagement, community wellbeing, intergenerational connections, and social activism.
FRI 4:30pmHow Collective Storytelling in Anime and Comics Has Built Up Marginalized Communities A Collective discussion on how under-represented communities found their voice in the pages of comics and anime. This session will emphasize using discussion and collaborative storytelling, and will give attendees the opportunity to share their experiences and thoughts through emphasis on modern media.     
FRI 5:30pmThe Holocaust in Comic Books: Preparing for Colorado Bill HB20-1336Holocaust education has become increasingly important as those who witnessed it have continued to pass on. Many comic book artists have used their craft to remember these tragic events. We will be discussing those comics and more in this panel. Captain America, Hellboy, Maus, Chutz-POW, Supermenches, and more!  The new Colorado bill HB20-1336 requires the satisfactory completion of a course that includes Holocaust and genocide studies as a condition of high school graduation in public schools. This will take effect in 2023 and we will be offering comic books and other resource ideas for educators to take into their classrooms!   
FRI 6:30pmPop Culture Classroom Presents: Pop Culture as Assessment and Differentiated Products Essays, short-answer questions, and multiple-choice test certainly have their time and place in the classroom… But what if your students could choose to create a comic, board game, video, or website for their unit assessment? Pop Culture Classroom’s Education Program Manager, Matt Slayter, will teach you how to engage students’ passions while managing differentaited products in the classroom. 
EducAtional Programming – Friday, July 1, 2022
SAT 10:30amHistory Colorado: Heroes and Villains of Colorado’s HistoryBatman, Superman, Spider-man, Wonder Woman–all comic book heroes who battle evil all the time. We know these characters are heroes because of their good deeds (and sometimes their costumes!) When it comes to real people in our history, can we tell who is a hero and who is a villain? Join History Colorado educators and historians to examine perspectives on some of Colorado’s most heroic–and villainous–past residents. We’ll debate whether they were good, evil, or a complicated shade of gray.
SAT 11:30amPop Culture Classroom Presents: TTRPGS and Social/Emotional LearningDungeons and Dragons and other Tabletop Role-Playing Games can provide unique and engaging opportunities for social/emotional learning. Learn how to harness these opportunities with Pop Culture Classroom’s instructors!
SAT 12:30pmThe Science Of: The Science of MjolnirLove, thunder and science! How can a hammer do so many things? Join us as we bring materials scientists, metallurgists and big-time Thor fans together to talk about the whats, the whys and most importantly, the hows of Thor’s favorite weapon. We’ll cover Mjolnir’s creation and destruction! And re-construction! The substitutes and wannabes! And if we have the materials and science to make something so cool on earth!
SAT 1:30pmDenver Library: Pulp Heroes and Their Influence on Today’s ComicsHow have pulp heroes influenced modern comic characters? Learn more about your favorite characters like Batman, Two Face, and Daredevil, as well as lesser-known heroes and villains like James ‘Wildcat’ Gordon aka: The Whisperer.        
SAT 2:30pmCU Boulder: Fandoms and Social Good – #FreeBritney and BTSHow do social good movements embody Jenkins fan theory? How have events like  #FreeBritney and BTS made an impact in the community? Learn more about social good movements and how they take inspiration from and within their fan communities.
SAT 3:30pmCU Boulder: Representing Black Ethnicity with Coded AnimationThis panel considers how audience and fans can practice strategies of looking at characters who are performed by African-American voice actors, but who are not drawn to resemble the visual patterns of blackness. Example characters such as ThunderCats’ Panthro (voiced by Earle Hyman), G.I. Joe’s Destro (voiced by Arthur Burghardt), The Transformers’ Jazz (voiced by Scatman Crothers) and Blaster (voiced by Buster Jones) will be presented and discussed as coded ethnic characters.
SAT 4:30pmAuthor Sue Duff: Building Worlds from ScratchIt can be daunting to create fantasy and SciFi worlds. This 50 minute presentation will cover many of the necessary details not to overlook, and help you tie realistic worlds together with your ideas. It will include but not limited to: characters, locations, transportation, animals/creatures, terrain/surroundings, climate, monetary system/currency, food/diet.
SAT 5:30pmCurative Comics: The Revitalization of Comic Books in the Denver Art MuseumJoin us for an informative, interactive, discussion on all things comics; the educational opportunities, collaborations and upcoming events that are bringing comics and graphic novels into the Denver Art Museum!      
Educational Programming – Saturday, July 2, 2022
SUN 10:30amNOCO Story: The Power of Story: How the Stories & Characters We Love Teach Us About OurselvesWhat can the stories and characters we love tell us about–us? From themes found in Star Wars to the DnD character building process, Colorado Narrative Therapist Mike Ensley explores how geek culture offers pathways to self discovery, personal growth, and even healing from trauma.
SUN 11:30amAuthor Sue Duff: Bring Your Novel to Life and then to Publication You’re either working on your novel, or have finished it. Now what? This 50 minute course will help guide you in honing your novel with resources available to you, what options you have for publication, and what your next steps will be toward making it marketable.
SUN 12:30pmThe Science Of: Diversity in STEM Education – How Pup Culture can Save the Future
The numbers don’t tell a good story – diversity in STEM needs help. But by telling different stories we can create a better world. More representation in STEM-centric pop culture can move the needle and help to make a difference. Come ready for a wide-ranging discussion about using pop culture stories to make a difference and change the future. 
SUN 1:30pmHistory Colorado: Indiana Jones: Worst Archaeologist EverForget any ideas you’ve got about lost cities, exotic travel, and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried treasure, and ‘X’ never, ever, marks the spot.” Archaeology promotes multidisciplinary research, cultural sensitivity, and technical skills. Misconceptions in Pop Culture about archaeology provide educators opportunities in classrooms and informal settings. This program presents resources and approaches to integrate archaeology and fulfill educational goals and standards.
SUN 2:30pmPop Culture Classroom Presents: Video Games in the ClassroomVideo games can be a powerful tool in the classroom, but many obstacles can stand in the way of utilizing their full potential – or utilizing them at all! Pop Culture Classroom’s Education Program Manager Matt Slayter will discuss how video games can be tapped  for academic and social/emotional growth and will give resoureces to help educators identify games to use and how to use them. 
SUN 3:30pmWriting Comics in Prison Ryan Forbes spent six years in prison where he focused on writing.  He started storyboarding fan-fiction based on his favorite DC characters that he felt did not get enough attention, which eventually led to creating his own characters. Arron Malone spent 30 years in prison where he focused on learning how to draw, ink, and paint to keep him sane in an insane environment. Forbes and Malone both created their own comics in prison and are now self-publishing comics in the “free-world”.
Educational Programming – Sunday, july 2, 2022