School pupils descend for the start of May Festival

School pupils descend for the start of May Festival

Hundreds of school children will descend on the University of Aberdeen today (Tuesday May 26) for the start of the May Festival.

Pupils from schools from Aberdeen city and shire, including Tarvis,Crombie and Durris, will travel to Old Aberdeen to enjoy a host of different free events at the Marathon Oil Schools' Festival.

The Marathon Oil Schools’ Festival is the precursor to the main May Festival programme, which includes a dedicated strand for children and families running on Saturday and Sunday.

Pupils will take part in interactive sessions where they can find out about the daily lives of Vikings, learn of the incredible variety of bug life that inhabits the local area and listen to stories about the exploits of Wotjek the Bear, the Polish war hero who retired to Edinburgh Zoo.

Others will hear from explorer Matt Dickinson on tackling Everest and his adventures across Antarctica and the Sahara Desert, or create their own comic in a masterclass run by Beano and Marvel artist and writer Kev F.

The University’s Special Collections and Museums team will be on hand to offer Ancient Egypt Experience days, and there will be an introduction to the fascinating world of engineering design courtesy of TechFest, where pupils will be shown how to make their very own K’nex Car.

Over the weekend, the Marathon Oil Children’s Programme offers the chance for children to come along with their families where a wide variety of events will be on offer to fire young imaginations.
Youngsters can create and star in their own play, watch a performance that celebrates the world’s ugliest animals, and take part in a rap and street poetry workshop with local hip-hop recording artist M.C.

In addition to the free bookable events, there will also be drop in sessions including a Biodiversity Bonanaza and Science Showcase at the Zoology Building as part of the Environment Programme on Sunday. The Hall of Mayhem will offer various stalls and drop in activities including mask making and an opportunity create your own LED badge and learn about fossils, bubbles and maths, while Festival entertainers will perform around campus.

Festival Manager Jill Burnett said: “Both the Schools’ and Children’s Festivals have proved to be hugely popular in previous years, thanks to the fantastic variety of events that never fail to educate and entertain young minds.

“This year will be no different, and we are looking forward to welcoming children from across Aberdeen City and Shire to our King’s College campus in Old Aberdeen, where they can feed their imaginations with our great selection of events including storytelling, music, science, and interactive workshops.

“All of the events on the Schools’ Programme remain free of charge thanks to the continued support we receive from Marathon Oil, but many will book up quickly, so it is important people visit the website or call the ticket line to reserve a place.”

Carl Hubacher, UK regional Vice President, Marathon Oil, said: “The May Festival is a wonderful event that inspires and educates children, and we are proud to continue our support again this year.”

To book tickets for the children’s programme, visit or call the Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122