Campus swarms with excitement over bugs
By Nneka Madus
Spitting crickets and eating fried mealworms are just a few of the festivities that happen yearly at the Purdue University Bug Bowl. Bug Bowl is an annual event put on by the Department of Entomology with help from students in a class with Tom Turpin, professor of entomology.
About 30,000 people flock to Bug Bowl to partake in the "buggy" events every year. Just like the years before, the Bowl is held on Purdue's West Lafayette campus. "We hope that Bug Bowl participants have fun and learn something about the biology of insects," Turpin said.
Elizabeth Berger, animal sciences major from Richmond, Ind., says that when she first attended Bug Bowl, she was expecting it to be an event for children, but in the end she learned of many new things she didn't know before. "Who knew that mealworms could be friend and eaten as a snack?" Berger said. "It's not something I would eat on a regular basis, though."
There is a lot of work and preparation put into the event beforehand so that participants can enjoy Bug Bowl. In Turpin's class, groups of students must volunteer their time to work booths. Specific duties that students perform are working in the cricket spitting contest, helping kids in the petting zoo, singing along with children in the karaoke booth and helping children make insect art.
One of the most popular events at Bug Bowl is the cricket spitting contest. Over 1,000 people entered the contest in 2004. Another 1,500 people witnessed the contest.
Krista Showalter got to express the kid inside of her. "My favorite activity there was the cricket spitting contest," said Showalter, animal sciences major from Indianapolis, Ind. "I also liked the karaoke booth because we were singing olden-day songs about insects."