Recently, I attended Denver Comic Con, and while I had a total blast with my youngest checking out all the cool cosplay outfits, browsing the hundreds of artist and merchandise booths, (and of course sampling the limited edition Hulks’ Mash ale!) the real motivation for attending was to scope out the educational aspect of the ‘con.
Pop Culture Classroom–the parent non-profit behind Denver Comic Con–is bae, you guys. They do so much to bring literacy education to school kids through popular media, and I just love them. I could seriously go on and on about how they perfectly echo my passion for literacy, especially with harder-to-reach kiddos. So naturally, the Denver ‘con has a much younger target audience than most, and a more educational slant to the content of panels and activities.
I was so impressed at the different groups that came out and shared their fun/learning opportunities (“flearning”?) with a focus on STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics), and I was really excited to learn that so many of them are free or very affordable!
Here are my top picks, kid-approved by my 7 year old. I hope you’ll check out some or all of these this summer!
The award-winning Adams County public library system consists of seven branches in Northglenn, Thornton, Brighton, Bennett, Hyland Hills, and Commerce City, as well as a travelling Book Mobile. During the summer, they expand their free programming to include something exciting and educational for everyone-infants to adults. Enjoy a storytime, conduct science experiments, learn to code, sew, 3D print, build circuits, and make waffles. Several events require advance registration and spots are limited, while many others are open to everyone on a drop-in basis.
Elsewhere in the state, libraries will be participating in this “Super” reading program! Each library district/branch will offer their own unique incentives and programming, but will share the common theme of Superheroes!
- “Every Hero Has a Story” – Kids’ Theme
- “Unmask!” – Teens’ Theme
- “Escape The Ordinary” – Adults’ Theme
This is THE perfect indoor, rainy day activity. Purchase downloadable/printable templates or a pre-printed set to build marble “rollercoasters” that kids can build with just scissors, pencils, and tape. Add on to it, tweak it and change it throughout the summer, while discovering principles of physics in action.
This free app is so engaging, and has such limitless possibilities, that I totally don’t mind if my son gets lost in it for hours! Use your LEGOs, Matchbox cars, any small toys–to arrange scenes, film, easily edit, add music, effects, and narration, and share with anyone in the world. Available for Apple and Android devices.
Currently in pre-launch phase, Kidscomic.club is going to be an awesome online place for kids to read comics geared specifically to them, and earn rewards for reading. Sign up now to unlock a special reward at launch!
Besides these five ideas, take advantage of Colorado’s awesome museums to keep learning STEAMing along all summer!