Teaching SF: An Informal Workshop for Teachers, Librarians & Parents

Organized and Presented by Reading for the Future, Inc. from a proposal from AboutSF (University of Kansas).

The registration deadline for the Teaching SF workshop has now been extended to July 30, 2011.

The Teaching SF workshop is a collaborative effort, designed to encourage teachers, librarians and parents to incorporate science fiction as a teaching tool. These workshops have previously been held at Denvention (the 2008 Worldcon) and at Anticipation (the 2009 Worldcon). Workshop speakers will include Renovation Guest of Honor Tim Powers, Peadar Ó Guilín, Mary Robinette Kowal, John DeChancie, Daniel M. Kimmel, Gary K. Wolfe, L. E. Modesitt, Jr. and G. David Nordley.

The Workshop will be held at Renovation in the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, running from 9 a.m. to around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17.

Teachers, librarians and parents who are not Renovation members may attend the workshop for a $40 fee; this fee includes a Wednesday pass to attend Renovation after the workshop. Young Adults (those aged 21 or under on Wednesday, 17 August) can attend for a reduced fee of $25. Note that lunch is not included, but there will be food stands available in the convention center and numerous restaurants can be found in the attached Atlantis hotel.

Workshop attendees can upgrade to a full 5-day membership to Renovation by paying the difference between the workshop fee and the full attending rate for the event (currently $220 for Adults, $120 for Young Adults). Full information on memberships and registration can be found here.


The tentative schedule for the day is as follows:

9:00 - 9:15 Getting to Know You with David-Glenn Anderson, Lynn E. Cohen Koehler, Linda Robinett and Valerie Ontell
9:15 - 10:00 Science Fiction is a Learning Motivation with Valerie Ontell
10:00 - 10:30 Keynote - Encourage students with Speculative Fiction with Tim Powers and Helge Moulding
10:30 - 11:45 Empower Students: Teach Them Science Fiction, Too with Bobbie DuFault, L. E. Modesitt, Jr, Stephen Potts, Samuel Scheiner, and G David Nordley
11:45 - 12:30 Brown Bag Lunch featuring excerpts from James Gunn's classic 1971 film "Lunch with John Campbell"
12:45 - 2:00 Give the Kid a Book with Lindalee Stuckey, Peadar Ó Guilín, Mary Robinette Kowal, Colin Fisk and John DeChancie
2:00 - 3:00 Stretching the Mind while Thinking Outside the Box with Maurine Starkey, Daniel M. Kimmel, Margaret McGaffey Fisk, Gregory Wilson, Gary Wolfe and Helge Moulding
3:00 - 4:00 Not quite 1001 SF Resources for Educators, Librarians, Home Schoolers and Others with Bobbie DuFault and Valerie Ontell
4:00 - 5:45 Stellar Evolution/ Alien by Design with Donna Young

In addition to the workshop, there will be program items throughout the convention on using science fiction to help teach children science, literature and history.

How to Sign Up

Renovation members with full attending memberships can attend the Teaching SF workshop at no cost, but must sign up in advance as space is limited. If you are already an attending member of Renovation and would like to participate in the workshop, please email us at teachingsf@renovationsf.org.

If you do not have a Renovation membership, please register for the workshop here. The registration fee will give you access to the workshop, including morning coffee and pastries, and a Day Admission to Renovation for Wednesday, so that you can enjoy the convention after the workshop completed. Wednesday evening is Music Night at Renovation, with a concert by Tricky Pixie, a performance of Godson (a musical based on work by Roger Zelazny), and a special appearance by Dr Demento.

Sign-up for this workshop ends on July 30, 2011.


Many thanks to AboutSF at the University of Kansas, including James Gunn, Kristen Lillvis and Ben Cartwright, and to Reading for the Future's David-Glenn Anderson and the RFF members for their hard work on this project.