Unveiling Event - Annual Bug Bowl

The annual Bug Bowl

More than 30,000 insect lovers make their way to Purdue University each year to join in on the fun during Bug Bowl, which takes place during Purdue University's Spring Fest weekend. For more than 20 years now, Purdue University's Bug Bowl has given children and adults a healthy mix of entomology, education and entertainment and, in doing so, has gained international exposure. Turpin, who is co-founder of the Bug Bowl, explains that the purpose of the Bug Bowl is to educate people about insects in an entertaining way and also to let it be known that not all insects are bad.

Turpin believes that people are starting to get it. With activities such as cockroach racing, cricket spitting and the insect-petting zoo, people can pick up an understanding along with good information on the role that insects play in nature. Turpin explains that the Bug Bowl was used to launch the campaign which urged state legislatures to designate the firefly as the state insect of Indiana because of the advantages it provides to farming. "Fireflies eat slugs and are the 'Paul Revere' of the insect world," Turpin explains "the sight of the first lightening bug of the season tells farmers to check their corn crops for pests."

Indiana Supergraphic Unveiled

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.—U-Haul announced the release of 1,900 new 20-foot moving vans showcasing the new SuperGraphic honoring the state of Indiana.

The SuperGraphic features the most common firefly species in the state, and also the science of bioluminescence, the scientific process by which chemical energy is converted into lifesaving light.

This newest SuperGraphic also honors the Purdue Department of Entomology, where some of the early research on the chemistry of firefly light was discovered. For more than 200 years, entomologists and other scientists have been fascinated by living-light production. Who would have suspected that the magical, glowing fireflies gracing the night sky could be capable of saving human life, and are now being used in medical research laboratories around the world?

"Few individuals are not fascinated by the flashing-light displays of fireflies. Scientists study these insects, poets write about them and children collect them in canning jars. People love fireflies," declared Tom Turpin, Purdue University professor of entomology. "What could be better to promote an appreciation of science, and insects, and the state of Indiana than a giant firefly graphic rolling down the highways and byways of North America?"

U-Haul officially unveiled the Indiana SuperGraphic on April 9, as its "Venture Across America" Campaign visited Purdue's Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts after the 21st annual Bug Bowl of Purdue's Spring Fest.

Guests heard from local dignitaries and scientists from the Purdue Department of Entomology, as well as participating in many educational activities taking place during the Bug Bowl.

"We're thrilled to partner with Purdue University to honor and commemorate the Purdue Department of Entomology, where a lot of the chemistry of firefly light was discovered," stated Curt Reigelsperger, marketing company president (MCP) of UHC of Central Indiana (Co. 764). "Now, people all over North America will have the privilege of seeing and learning more about how this creature can convert chemical energy into light, and what advancements have been made by researching the science behind the magical glow. Indiana's big dipper firefly now will be seen by many across North America, lighting up the sides of 1,900 U-Haul moving vans."