For 25 years, a university town in Illinois has become insect central for day thanks to entomologist linkurl:May Berenbaum's; Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The festival - which will celebrate its 25th year tomorrow (Feb. 23) - usually features a few campy films starring insects (more linkurl:Mothra,; less linkurl:David Attenborough),; along with an insect petting zoo where festival goers can reach out and touch linkurl:tarantulas,; hissing linkurl:cockroaches,; and other creepy crawlers. And since 1994, the festival has included an insect art contest for area elementary and high school students. The point of the festival, says Berenbaum's grad student Cynthia McDonnell, is to improve the sometimes sullied image of insects in the wider community. Encouraging school kids to present their best insect art brings the message to the younger generation. "The art contest was another way we could get the students involved in the festival,"...

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