Each year, Pop Goes the Classroom lends its expertise to Phoenix Comicon creating the education track. Each year we have the unique opportunity to empower educators to embrace their fandom in the classroom. This year we served 406 such eductors over the course of 4 days, This is down slightly from last year’s attendance at 439. Having said that, we are using PCC head counts this year rather than our own so that may have something to do with it. It’s still an average of 102 educators each day.
We also partnered with the ASU Dion Initiative for a precon event called “From Science Fiction to Science Fact” with guests Mason Peck (former NASA CIO) and Richard Peck (well respected science fiction author. At this event we served an additional 100 community members interested in a dialogue about how arts ed inspires science identity. This event was designed for educators and community members who were not the target audience for the PCC ed track allowing us to reach an entirely new market.
This year those taking advantage of the Professional Development option for the track almost doubled from 31 last year to 54 this year.
This year our track hosted a series of amazing professionals that are leaders in the industry of arts and media education. On Friday we hosted panels and presentations presented by Lynn Tuttle (ADE), Dave Bolman (UAT), Erik Francis (Maverick Consulting), Brad Snyder (ASU Dion Initiative), Jeff Grant (Cartoon Network), and Sean Glumace (Adobe).
As with last year, our best attended panels were those that engaged individuals both in the classroom and those in general fandom. Our best attended event was the precon event “From Science Fiction to Science Fact” followed by the screening of PBS’s Superheroes: A Never Ending Battle on Thursday followed closely by Cartoon Network’s presentation “How Kids Consume Media”.
Our efforts to create meaningful dialogue around Pop Culture and STEAM education have been well received and we look forward to continued relationships with Phoenix Comicon and ASU’s Dion Initiative.