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First virtual Purdue University 'Bug Bowl' festival reaches worldwide audience

Purdue's annual "Bug Bowl" festival is seeing success after going virtual this year. This event has become a tradition for local families since it launched 30 years ago.

Posted: Apr 16, 2021 6:56 AM
Updated: Apr 16, 2021 6:56 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Purdue University's 30th annual "Bug Bowl" is wrapping up this week. This event is all about educating people on the most populated species in the world — insects.

This is the first time the event has gone virtual. And, that's to keep people safe from Covid-19. But if you tune in, be expected to see how certain insects look, feel, and work to feed our ecosystem and save us money.

Friday's live stream is focusing on caterpillars as it's Metamorphosis Day. You'll get to learn interesting facts about these insects, make crafts and play bug-related word games.

According to Gwen Pearson, outreach coordinator for Purdue's Department of Entomology, Bug Bowl is the largest insect educational event in the world.

While this year's event is virtual, She said that's actually been a positive for the festival.

"A Boilermaker had taken a job in India and was thrilled that he could have his son participate in Bug Bowl from India so I'm super excited that we can take this thing that has been something really special for West Lafayette and Indiana and spread it to a bigger audience," said Pearson.

She's encouraging people to take this opportunity to tune in and learn because bugs play a huge role in our day-to-day lives.

"Our spiders, for example, the estimate is four-billion dollars of pest control each year from spiders," said Pearson. "There are so many things that they help us with. Insects are basically the janitors of the world."

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