Denver Comic Con 2017 Education Wrap-Up! (Part 1)

At this year’s Denver Comic Con, Pop Culture Classroom celebrated diversity, fun and education through a variety of exciting and unique programming. Our guests, volunteers, students, teachers and programmers created and participated in a fantastic line up of education-focused activities and programs all throughout the weekend.

Here are some of our favorite highlights from the educational programming at this year’s Denver Comic Con. Enjoy!

The Expanded Pop Culture Classroom Kids’ Lab Blasts into 2017

This year’s Pop Culture Classroom’s Kids’ Laboratory, our all-ages area on the show floor 100% dedicated to kids and teens, returned in 2017 with more space and activities than ever before!

As Director of Programming, Bruce MacIntosh explains, “The changes to the Kids Lab this year were a smashing success, as we added even more space to make it 10,000 square feet of events, panel and activities just for kids, including two large stages for guest speakers, the all-ages stage and the 8-Bit stage.”

Among the interactive activities this year were edible water bottles, pizza gardens and hand-made paper jewelry, helping engage kids with their community and the environment.

According to PCC Kids’ Lab Manager, Becky Franks-Cassidy, “This year, the focus of the Lab shifted to provide educational experiences that would empower tends and children to make a difference and think about how they can be super heroes in their own worlds…. And as always, almost all of our activities in the Lab fell under 2 letters of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math).”

As a bonus, the 8-Bit Stage and the All-Ages Stage brought kids face-to-face with professional creators, artists and scholars throughout the weekend, including everyone from NASA scientists to celebrity voice actors, allowing youths to be inspired in a more intimate venue and learn about careers in the sciences and arts.

A big thank you to all the guests who spent time speaking to kids and encouraging the next generation of creators!

Experience the Comix Brings in Most Kids Ever – For Free!

Experience the CoMix (ETC), sponsored by Illegal Pete’s, is Pop Culture Classroom’s annual program that provides middle and high school students from local schools and community organizations the opportunity to experience a day at Denver Comic Con – and all for free! For DCC’17, we were able to offer ETC passes to more students than ever before, with over 300 students attending.

This groundbreaking program provided these students time to interact with artists, authors, and other creators, attend panels, and learn first-hand what a career in pop culture might be like.

Students are also tasked with completing a scavenger hunt during the day, fueling their curiosity and encouraging them to visit areas of DCC they might otherwise miss. As a bonus, those who completed this “hunt” were rewarded with 3-day passes to let the fun continue through the weekend!

PCC’s Education Program Manager, Adam Kullberg, says that the ETC program “provides students from all different backgrounds the chance to really learn about what makes Denver Comic Con unique, and to engage one-on-one with these amazing artists and creators from all over the world.”

“Our ultimate hope for ETC is that the students return home with this realization that they really can take their hobbies, their talents and their natural creativity and turn them into something powerful that helps change their schools and communities for the better.”

PCC Announces All-New Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards

Announced at a special ceremony during DCC’17, the Excellence in Graphic Literature Awards will launch in 2018 and aims to celebrate the best in fiction and non-fiction graphic novels, honoring the creators, publishers and educators using graphic literature to ignite a love of learning in classrooms worldwide.

“More than four years ago, we set out to establish a new class of awards that recognizes the best in graphic novel publishing, but that also supports and encourages the increasing use of graphic novels in the educational market,” says Illya Kowalchuk, director of education for Pop Culture Classroom.

“To do that, one of our biggest goals is to create a program that ultimately benefits educators, librarians and retailers, by shining a spotlight on the use of graphic literature to inspire students at every reading level,” adds Kowalchuk. “We are honored to have some of the greatest minds in the public library and school library systems contributing as advisors and judges, along with academic educators, K-12 specialists, and industry luminaries.”

Award categories for the inaugural year are planned to include Book of the Year, Best in Educational Comics, Best New Voice, Innovator Award, Diversity Award and more!

To be continued…