sealPurdue News

March 11, 2003

Spring Fest offers new and exciting events plus the usual fun

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Fans of the television show CSI can become a forensic scientist for a day. Those enchanted with space can build and launch a rocket. Others can dress up and pretend to take the stage.

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This year's Spring Fest, on Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Purdue University's West Lafayette campus, will offer a wide array of activities.

"Spring Fest is really growing. We have seven schools participating this year – they include the schools of Agriculture, Consumer and Family Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Science, Education, Liberal Arts and Engineering," said Dana Neary, event coordinator

Some of the new activities allow participants to solve a case like a forensic science detective, dress up in costumes like actors and actresses, build a mini-rocket and launch it and create a charm with your name in hieroglyphics. Returning favorites include Bug Bowl, the Boiler Brick Bowl, the vet medicine open house and many other activities and games around campus.

All events are free and open to the public. Visitors can obtain a map and a list of all the events online. Questions for a scavenger hunt also are posted so participants can print them off before coming to Spring Fest. For more information, contact (888) EXT-INFO. Free parking for the event is located in Purdue parking garages and lots.

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Saturday and Sunday events and participating schools are:

  • The Bug Bowl will feature fun with insects, including cricket spitting, cockroach races, insect crafts, face painting, honey tasting, an insect petting zoo, a stir fry and chocolate-covered insects, caterpillar canter and a cake decorating contest. Bug Bowl events will be in Smith Hall and around the Agricultural Administration Building, and cricket spitting will be on the Memorial Mall. Bug Bowl is sponsored by the Department of Entomology.

  • The Boiler Barnyard will have live animals, working dog and horse demonstrations, pig ultrasounding and trivia games. Boiler Barnyard, which will take place around Lilly and Smith halls, is sponsored by the Department of Animal Sciences.

  • Plants and Microbes in Action is the theme for activities sponsored by the Department Agronomy and Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. Participants can navigate a maze, learn about biotechnology, get their faces painted and learn about corn from shelling, to grinding, to eating. The activities will take place in and in front of Lilly Hall.

  • The Purdue Horticulture Society will feature the latest trends in garden design, a plant sale and children's activities in the horticulture greenhouses.

  • Become an archaeologist, walk in the footsteps of a dinosaur and take a picture with a dinosaur or in a hurricane with the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences on the Memorial Mall.

  • The Department of 4-H Youth Development will teach animal track and leaf identification on the lawn of the Agricultural Administration Building.

  • The School of Consumer and Family Sciences will have activities for infants and toddlers, a milk mustache photo shoot and health and business-related activities on the Memorial Mall.

  • Tips on how to start and maintain a container garden will be offered in front of Pfendler Hall by the Purdue Chapter of the Associated Landscape Contractors of America.

  • In the Lilly Hall lobby, visitors can handle marine life, observe embryos and learn about brain neurons, how a fly's eye develops, and how a cell works. These activities are sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences.

  • Learn sign language, see how actors and actresses get dressed for the theater and participate in other activities with the School of Liberal Arts on the Memorial Mall.

  • The Purdue Press will offer games as a way of learning about the "Airplane Boys and Girls" book series. Bob Kriebel, author of "The Midas of the Wabash: A Biography of John Purdue," will talk about his book and sign copies. Both take place on the Memorial Mall.

  • The Robert L. Ringel Gallery in the Purdue Memorial Union will showcase Women of the Book: Jewish Artists, Jewish Themes, sponsored by the Ben and Louise Klatch Jewish Art Series and Purdue Galleries.

  • Flight Trails: Amelia Earhart Memorabilia is the most comprehensive repository of materials relating to Amelia Earhart. The exhibit, which is in the Stewart Center Gallery, is sponsored by Purdue Galleries.

    Saturday-only activities and sponsors are:

  • The School of Veterinary Medicine will have demonstrations all day at the veterinary hospitals. There will be spay demonstrations, a petting zoo, an exotic animal exhibit, Frisbee dogs, sheriff K-9 unit demonstrations and tours.

  • Learn the procedures of real forensic detectives, solve a crime and make your own fingerprint at the Department of Biochemistry's booth on the Agriculture Mall.

  • The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources will give participants a chance to climb a tree, watch a chainsaw carver and meet Smokey Bear on the Agriculture Mall.

  • Children can build and launch mini-rockets, create a charm in hieroglyphics and learn paper magic at events sponsored by the School of Education on the Memorial Mall.

  • Classic tractors, a contest to win a children's playhouse and a pedal tractor obstacle course will be sponsored by the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering on the lawn in front of the building and on Agriculture Mall.

  • Make a can bank and learn about food and food processing at the Food Science Fun Fair. The fair will take place in the Food Science Building and Agriculture Mall.

  • A bricklaying demonstration will take place at the Boiler Brick Bowl at 10 a.m. with a bricklaying contest from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Benches made in the contest will be available for viewing all day on Sunday on the Agriculture Mall.

  • Participants at the Department of Agricultural Economics booth on Agriculture Mall can play games dealing with farm products.

  • A disc jockey and games on the Memorial Mall will help participants learn about the Schools of Engineering.

  • The School of Science will showcase student projects on the Memorial Mall, and students will be available to talk discuss them.

    Writer: Michelle Betz, (765) 494-8402,

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

    Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

    West Lafayette's Mudde siblings, Willem (left), Maaike and Jon (right) spend some anxious moments with a tarantula at the 2002 Spring Fest. This year's event, which will include the popular insect petting zoo, will be held April 12-13 on the Purdue University campus. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)


    Dr. Kathleen Salisbury of Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine performs a spay surgery at the Indiana State Fair in 2000. She was assisted by student Susanna Aldridge (foreground) and veterinary technologists Grady Spoonamore (seated) and Becky Bierman. During this year's Spring Fest at Purdue, April 12-13, the School of Veterinary Medicine will have demonstrations at the veterinary hospitals that will include spay demonstrations, a petting zoo, an exotic animal exhibit, Frisbee dogs, sheriff K-9 unit demonstrations and tours. (File photo/Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine)

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