Pop Culture Classroom at FAN EXPO Denver

PCC Educational Panels and Presentations Schedule – 2021 FAN EXPO Denver: SPECIAL EDITION

Pop culture Classroom’s panels and sessions will focus on practical and theoretical programming for educators and parents who are interested in learning how to harness the power of pop culture in their classrooms.

Presented for educators, by educators, these sessions are a fantastic opportunity to share knowledge, resources, and experiences and network with fellow Colorado teachers, librarians, administers, students, and artists!


Start End Title Description
11:00:00 AM 11:50:00 AM Pop Culture for Education 101 (PCC1) Learn about tips and free resources for engaging students using comics, games, and film/TV from Pop Culture Classroom’s Educational Staff.
12:00:00 PM 12:50:00 PM Unlocking Educational Potential in Pop Culture w/ PCC Instructors (PCC2) Comics, games, and film/tv have so much potential as learning tools in and out of the classroom. Pop Culture Classroom’s outreach instructors talk about our favorite pop culture media and the specific academic and social/emotional skills each can support.
1:00:00 PM 1:50:00 PM Building your Worlds With Concrete Materials with Sue Duff (PCC3) Join author and president of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Sue Duff, for a presentation highlighting the use of concept boards with collected items to inspire you as you create and describe details in your stories.
2:00:00 PM 2:50:00 PM “From A Certain Point Of View”: Teaching Historical Inquiry with Pop Culture (PCC4) What were the most significant historical events in a galaxy far, far away? What do Star Trek’s time travel episodes–from The City on the Edge of Forever in The Original Series to the “Bell Riots” in Deep Space 9–tell us about how we view the past? Join History Colorado educators to discuss fun and creative ways to combine historical thinking and inquiry with popular culture, in alignment with the 2020 Colorado Social Studies Academic Standards.
3:00:00 PM 3:50:00 PM World Building for Sci-fi & Fantasy (PCC9) Learn how professional creators dream up worlds like Middle Earth, Hyrule, or Asgard, and work with other attendees to create a world of your own!
4:00:00 PM 4:50:00 PM Fandom as Pedagogy: Geeking Up Your Classroom (PCC5) Beyond putting nerdy memes in your PowerPoint slides or assigning The Hobbit as a literary text, how can, and why should, fan practices and geek pop culture be integrated into your pedagogy in more fundamental ways? This panel brings together writers and educators to discuss how to use common fandom practices to “remix” your high school or college classroom in ways that boost student learning. Join us to learn more!
5:00:00 PM 5:50:00 PM 10 Tips to Creating Better Comics (PCC10) Are you an aspiring comic writer or artist? Learn 10 tips to elevate your comics from Pop Culture Classroom’s instructors and published comic creators!
6:00:00 PM 6:50:00 PM Educators’ Day Keynote: Rico Munn (PCC6) Join Aurora Superintendent Rico Munn for the 2021 Educators’ Day Keynote.
7:00:00 PM 7:50:00 PM How the Pitch & Present at a Pop Culture Convention (PCC7) So you have a great idea for a panel you’d like to present at a convention.  This session is designed to give you the tools you need to develop your pitch and on how to present your session.  This runs the gamut from the best language to use in your pitch to making your session the most effective one possible.   We will cover scripting, moderating, panelist selection to handouts and running a q&a.
8:00:00 PM 8:50:00 PM Pop Culture as Differentiated Products (Project Based Learning) (PCC8) When students create projects that align with their interests such as comics, videos, and games, they engage more deeply with the project’s academic content. Learn how to create projects and assessments that demonstrate learning through students’ specific media interests.




Start End Title Description
11:00:00 AM 11:50:00 AM Fandom through the Ages: Forming Social Identities Panel offers a brief history of fandom and fandom spaces, and offers three case studies of fan identity performances and conflicts. Dustin Dunaway, Dan Yezbick, and J. Richard Stevens will present fan conflicts involving heroes like Captain America, media like EC Comics, and franchises like Star Wars that demonstrate how fandom expressions influence and are influenced by social identity and its performance.
12:00:00 PM 12:50:00 PM Pop Culture as Differentiated Products (Project Based Learning) When students create projects that align with their interests such as comics, videos, and games, they engage more deeply with the project’s academic content. Learn how to create projects and assessments that demonstrate learning through students’ specific media interests.
1:00:00 PM 1:50:00 PM Hey, All, You Cool Cats and Kittens! The many, many layers of Tiger King As clinical psychologists, the authors watched Tiger King in absolute awe. The show so accurately depicts comorbidities between mental health difficulties and substance use that it is difficult to watch.  The show is a beyond accurate depiction of the negative outcomes that result when substance use, personality disorders (i.e., narcissism and histrionics), attachment difficulties, and forensics combine. Throughout Tiger King we see the characters desperately trying to regulate and cope with the realities of their environment. Both the animals and the methamphetamines serve to create connection, make money, and dispel the dismal reality of the tiger kingdom. Beneath the many layers of cat-print, leather, and bedazzled clothing, it is clear that Joe Exotic and Carroll Baskin have much more in common than their devotion and love for “big cats.” The documentary points to the ways in which the painful and traumatic experiences of each effect the way they currently navigate their worlds and interact with one another. Tiger King also hints at other concerning interpersonal dynamics, such as labor and sex exploitation. Many viewers wondered, “Who would do such a thing?” We will explore factors related to labor victimization and abuse.
2:00:00 PM 2:50:00 PM Authors Workshop with Sue Duff and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Want to know what it takes to write a “publishable” story? Join three published authors from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers to discuss what it takes to write short stories and/or novels and how to know when your draft is “ready”.
3:00:00 PM 3:50:00 PM Anime Goes to College In this panel, Emilie Waggoner, Associate Director of First-Year Experiences and lecturer at the University of Colorado Denver, will present on her university core area class offered at CU Denver and how educators can utilize anime, or other popular media, in the classroom through a sociological lens. The goal of this panel is to show how popular media can be utilized as a teaching tool for future instructors and how you can incorporate fandom discussions in your classroom.
4:00:00 PM 4:50:00 PM Local History with Dungeons & Dragons We worked with Pop Culture Classroom to develop Arrowpoint Adventures, a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that immerses the participant in local history through the framework of a D&D game. Our panel discusses the process of turning this idea into a reality, how history translates to a fantasy setting, and lessons learned from our test games and our first public sessions with teenage participants. Panelists include participants from different points of the creation process and RPG experience.
5:00:00 PM 5:50:00 PM Last Gameboard – Game Design & Creation Wanna play a game!? Join Last Gameboard CEO and Founder Shail Mehta and a panel of industry experts to discuss the power, potential, and creation of video games in education and beyond.



Start End Title Description
11:00:00 AM 11:50:00 AM  Everyone Loves the Sidekick with Sue Duff The presentation will explore how writers draw upon their own personalities and experiences while creating their characters, conflicts and worlds.
12:00:00 PM 12:50:00 PM Ping Me: How Competitive Gaming Teams Use High-Performance In this panel, you’re going to learn how the best FPS teams call out enemy locations, how to finally get the attention of your party healer, how to negotiate for that raise you’ve wanted, and maybe even how to get your drive-thru order right every time. High-Performance Communication is often an underappreciated aspect not just in team-based games, but also in large parts of daily life. Luckily, there is a science behind it to explain how communication works, and when it doesn’t work, why. Almost all communication can be simplified down to a single representative model, and we will see how each element of it can make the difference between an exhilarating victory or a crushing defeat (or missing that side order of fries). From there, we’ll cover some common strategies of how to improve communication with your team to gain a competitive edge. The second half of the panel features an interactive exercise for anyone in the audience who wants to participate, giving you a chance to show off your persuasion and communication techniques.
1:00:00 PM 1:50:00 PM I Want to Hold Your Hand: Netflix’s Sex Education Representation matters, and the popular Netflix series Sex Education is ripe with culture and identity representation, subverting some tropes while succumbing to others. It is a wonderful examination of the power and necessity of comprehensive sex education in a time where most youth are receiving their education from the media and their peer groups. Sex Education explores various topics like queer relationships, mental health, family systems, culture, sex, and trauma without sensationalizing, something rarely seen on television. This panel will critically analyze these portrayals, discussing the intersectionality of identities and the importance of Sex Education’s rich content and representation.
2:00:00 PM 2:50:00 PM Careers in Literature Interested in a career in literature? Join this round table discussion and consider a career in literature from all angles,’Kids” Lab Stage’!E5 include writing, publishing, library sciences, and more!
3:00:00 PM 3:50:00 PM Social & Emotional Learning Through D&D Dungeons 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 Cutlure Classroom’s instructors.
4:00:00 PM 4:50:00 PM Pop Culture in the Classroom 101 In this session, teachers provide practical application and ready-to-use lessons that incorporate graphic novels, comics, and pop culture to increase student engagement. We wills hare strategies, give personal feedback, provide the audience with concrete tools to use in their own classrooms, and answer any questions from the audience.


Pop Culture Classroom is the featured charity of FAN EXPO Denver: SPECIAL EDITION. A portion of event proceeds supports our year-round work in classrooms, Colorado communities, and the production of free educational resources.