sealPurdue News

April 4, 2002

Bugs, bunnies and engineers: Purdue's Spring Fest is back

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Warmer weather, birds singing and crickets chirping are more than just signs of the season at Purdue University; they also signal the return of Spring Fest, the annual weekend when the public is invited to campus for educational and fun activities.

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Spring Fest events take place Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the Purdue campus in West Lafayette. All events are free. Departments from the Purdue schools of Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Consumer and Family Sciences, Science and Engineering are taking part this year.

"There's literally something for everybody, no matter what you're interested in," said Dana Neary, Spring Fest event coordinator. "When you come, plan to spend the whole day."

Last year, Spring Fest drew an estimated 30,000 people. One of the crowd favorites is the Department of Entomology's Bug Bowl, an assortment of activities designed to increase appreciation of insects.

"The cockroach races, cricket spitting, insect petting and insect eating – all the events are equally popular," said Tom Turpin, professor of entomology and a Bug Bowl creator.

Another popular attraction is the 89th annual Horticulture Show, which features a contemporary gardening theme this year. Horticulture students designed and built the exhibit, which showcases backyard entertaining, bird and butterfly gardening, and art and sculptures. Plant sales and children's activities also are part of the show.

The Schools of Engineering will officially participate in Spring Fest for the first time this year with Envision: The Engineering Open House. Engineering facilities, organizations, students and faculty will be showcased. Lab tours, music, giveaways and food will be available. Engineering activities are on Saturday only.

The Spring Fest Web site includes information about events, a map of the sites, activities for children and pictures from last year's event. For more information on Spring Fest activities, call 1-888-EXT-INFO (398-4636) or visit the Web site.

Spring Fest activities listed below will take place on both Saturday and Sunday, unless otherwise noted:

• "Boiler Barnyard" will feature pig ultrasounds, sheep shearing and animal trivia games with prizes.

• A walk-through maze designed by the agronomy and botany and plant pathology departments will test your knowledge of agriculture.

• Learn about opportunities for international travel, identify items from nature and pet a few rabbits at the 4-H Youth Development display.

• The Associated Landscape Contractors of America's display, Gardening Spotlight, includes a kitchen garden with information on all the plants displayed. Peter Rabbit will help children plant seedlings to take home and grow.

• Build a dinosaur, create fossil artwork and explore weather forecasting at the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences exhibit.

• The Department of Biological Sciences will have a tidal pool full of sea urchins, sand dollars and starfish to handle. Displays on the biological development of chickens, sea urchins and fly eyes will be featured. Coloring books and balloons will be given away.

• The School of Consumer and Family Sciences will feature Prime Time with Infants and Toddlers, presenting simple activities to support a child's development. A geography challenge presented by the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management and a Financial Fitness display on money management also will be offered.

• View undergraduate research displays and talk to the students who designed them at the School of Science site on Saturday. Science facilities will be open to tour.

• Survival 101 is the theme of the Biochemistry Club exhibit. Children and adults can learn about organism's survival mechanisms, such as camouflage, bioluminescence and pheromone use on Saturday.

• The theme for the 39th annual School of Veterinary Medicine Open House is 2-by-2 in 2002. A petting zoo, exotic animal exhibit and live spaying demonstration are some of the many highlights Saturday.

• The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources will offer animal track identification, a working sawmill and seedling tree sales. Children can climb Ms. Shingle Oak. All forestry activities take place on Saturday.

• The Marketing Madness display presented by the agricultural economics department includes a miniature golf course, the Matching Marketing game and the wheel of marketing. The activities are Saturday only.

• The "Boiler Brick Bowl" features Purdue landscape architecture and landscape horticulture students taking brick carillons from drawing board to mortarboard. The contest runs from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

• Classic and modern tractors will be on display at the agricultural and biological engineering site on Saturday. Children can ride through the pedal-tractor obstacle course and receive a farm safety coloring book.

• Attendees can make a personalized can bank with the Department of Food Science's canning press, watch cotton candy making and visit a space food display on Saturday.

• The Robert L. Ringel Gallery will be open during Spring Fest. The gallery is in the Purdue Memorial Union and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Campus events on April 12-14
which are not related to Spring Fest include:


• University Honors Convocation, 7:30 p.m. Elliott Hall of Music. The annual awards ceremony honors outstanding faculty members along with dean's list or semester honors students from the spring and fall semesters. Winners of annual student and staff awards also are recognized. Contact Jim Vruggink, director of special projects, (765) 494-2086,

• "Copanhagen," 8 p.m. Loeb Playhouse. Tickets are $26 for adults and $20 for students. To order, call (765) 494-3933. Contact: Larry Sommers, Convocations publicist, (765) 494-5045.

• "Our Town," 8 p.m. Experimental Theatre. This classic play by Thornton Wilder depicts life in turn-of-the-century New England. Ticket prices are $9 for seniors and students and $13 for the general public. To order, call (765) 494-3933. Contact: Lori Sparger, Theatre marketing director, (765) 494-3084.

• "Ocean's Eleven," 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Fowler Hall. This remake of a 1960 Rat Pack film, features Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and George Clooney, among other celebrities. The story depicts a gangster named Danny Ocean who rounds up associates to simultaneously rob $150 million from three major Las Vegas casinos. Tickets are $2.50 for students, $3.50 for the general public. Contact: Heather Owen, Purdue Student Union Board program adviser, (765) 494-8909.

• "Laszlo Matulay: Images for Words," 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Robert L. Ringel Gallery, Purdue Memorial Union. This exhibit by the Purdue Galleries is sponsored by Alfred and Isobel Bader in celebration of the 90th birthday of Herbert C. Brown, professor emeritus and Nobel Prize laureate. Free. Contact: Mary Ann Anderson, Purdue Galleries administrative assistant, (765) 496-7899.


• "American Music Review," 8 p.m. Long Center for the Performing Arts, 111 N. Sixth St., Lafayette. Purdue Bands presents an evening of big band music and vocal classics. Free. Contact: Kathy Matter, Bands public relations director, (765) 496-6785,

• "Ocean's Eleven," 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Fowler Hall.

• "University Sing," 7 p.m. Elliott Hall of Music. The event, sponsored by Purdue Musical Organizations, is an all-campus performance competition between Purdue housing units and student organizations. The Glee Club also will present a special performance. Tickets are $5. To order, call (765) 494-3933. Contact: David Huhnke, PMO marketing director, (765) 494-3949.

• Grand Prix qualifications. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the kart track northeast of Ross-Ade Stadium. Free.

• "Laszlo Matulay: Images for Words," 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Robert L. Ringel Gallery, Purdue Memorial Union. Free.


• "Cabaret," 4 p.m. Elliott Hall of Music. Tickets for this classic musical range from $12-$36. To order, call (765) 494-3933. Contact: Larry Sommers, Convocations publicist, (765) 494-5045.

• "BOOMwhackers," 3 p.m. Loeb Playhouse. This Purdue percussion ensembles concert features a Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoon accompanied by original music. Free. Contact: Kathy Matter, Bands public relations director, (765) 496-6785,

• "Laszlo Matulay: Images for Words," 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Robert L. Ringel Gallery, Purdue Memorial Union. Free.

• "Dame Lorraine," 7 p.m. Fowler Hall, Stewart Center. This three-act play, presented by the Black Cultural Center's New Directional Players, features a family that migrated to the United States from an island in the Caribbean, the tragedies that afflicted them and their subsequent attempts at reconciliation. Admission is $5 for students and $7 for the general public. Tickets will be sold at the door. Contact: Olateju Omolodun, Black Cultural Center assistant director, (765) 494-3095,

Writers: Mindy Reef, (765) 494-8402,

Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Sources: Dana Neary, (765) 494-9113,

Tom Turpin, (765) 494-4568,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Publication-quality file photographs of Spring Fest activities are available at, and

Hanna Devaney, 9, and twins Lindsey and Lauren Ross, both 7, gain hands-on experience with a New Guinea stick insect today (Saturday, 4/13) at Purdue University's annual Bug Bowl on the West Lafayette campus. The girls are from Flora, Ind. Thousands of people attended Spring Fest activities, which also included open houses for the departments of Horticulture and Animal Sciences, and the Schools of Science, Veterinary Medicine and Engineering. Spring Fest activities will continue tomorrow, Sunday, April 14, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (News Service Photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at

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