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Fall 2005 - Bug Bowl

Destination Purdue > Fall 2005 - Bug Bowl

Bug Bowl planning offers lessons beyond classrom

By Muzinat Azeez

Bug Bowl visitor

Photo by Muzinat Azeez

A Bug Bowl visitor prepares for the cricket spitting championship at Purdue's annual Spring Fest last April.

College students put hours of work into their assignments, but for some, it seems like the only feedback they receive is a grade.

One Purdue University entomology professor is changing that. Tom Turpin allows students in his introductory entomology course to organize Bug Bowl, the Department of Entomology's contribution to the annual Spring Fest event. Bug Bowl introduces visitors to entomology, the study of insects, through light-hearted and entertaining activities, including cricket spitting and an insect petting zoo.

With so many visitors, it takes a lot of work to organize, manage, and plan the activities. So the entomology department relies on 150 student volunteers. Turpin said Bug Bowl student volunteers have been given an opportunity to learn beyond the classroom. "Even though it is not the specific goal, the students learn a lot about teamwork and planning," says Turpin.

By helping plan Bug Bowl, Turpin feels students learn important skills such as time management, teamwork and how to implement plans. "The quality of the teams' work is excellent," Turpin said. "We are truly pleased with their work and Bug Bowl could not be run without them."