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  • Writer's pictureMariya (Marsha) Ilina

Flight Crowd x National Saturday Club Masterclass

This spring, Flight Crowd ran a masterclass on Air Mobility Infrastructure in collaboration with National Saturday Club at Staffordshire University. Our team introduced the young people to the future of flight and potential careers within this ecosystem. Club members also took part in a hands-on activity and were taught to fly small drones!

Photo: courtesy of the National Saturday Club

Introducing National Saturday Club

National Saturday Club is a fantastic initiative which enables 13-16 year olds to embrace their creativity and develop their strengths in a variety of subjects: Art & Design, Science & Engineering, Fashion & Business, Society & Change, Film & Media, Writing & Talking. The charity is working towards providing young people with opportunities to meet industry professionals, learn new skills and find out more about further education and careers.

With 56 clubs across the UK and 1500 members, the young people meet every Saturday morning throughout the academic year. The programme also includes a selection of masterclasses led by industry professionals. They aim to inspire young people and introduce them to a wide selection of potential career paths.

At the end of the academic year, the members’ work from all clubs is displayed at the incredible Summer Show, which takes place at Somerset House in London. Each year, the show is open to the public and is a celebration of the young people’s achievements. Flight Crowd was very proud to join a very diverse, creative community and industry professionals brought together by the National Saturday Club.

Our Masterclass

Flight Crowd’s masterclass aimed to inform the young community of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and future opportunities in the industry in an interactive way. We joined together the Science & Engineering and Art & Design streams based in Staffordshire. This was done to highlight the importance of diversity of thought and collaboration between teams to promote creativity and innovation.

The Flight Crowd team first gave a short presentation introducing the future of flight and a workshop brief. The two streams then split to discuss their brief, action plan, challenges and key priorities. The club members also experimented with the available materials and their properties. Arts & Design students focused on the function, aesthetics and feel of different materials. Simultaneously, the Science & Engineering group considered material properties such as durability or corrosion resistance.

In our masterclass, we challenged the club members to design and build their own UAM vertiport - the take-off and landing infrastructure for UAM vehicles. However, considering a sustainability focus, the members could only use recyclable materials such as plastic bottles or cardboard. During the design process, groups were asked to take into account some key considerations, including the vertiport’s mission purpose, passenger demographic, and integration with the local environment.

The club members came up with some very innovative ideas, including an underground vertiport concept and staircase structures. You can see their design concepts here:

Photos: courtesy of the National Saturday Club

At the end of the workshop, teams presented their design concepts to their peers and the Flight Crowd team, reflected on further improvements, and answered questions. Each design received feedback based on their design’s fit for purpose, innovation, and presentation skills.

Club members were then given a demonstration on how to fly a remote-controlled drone, and were even able to land the drones on their vertiports themselves!

Summer Show

This June, the public exhibition displayed the creative work of the young community from all National Saturday Clubs in the UK, including some of the work and photos from Flight Crowd’s masterclass! The showcase regularly receives more than 3,500 visitors throughout the week, providing club members with a platform to share their talent with a range of industries and the public.

Photos: courtesy of Flight Crowd, taken at the National Saturday Club Summer Show 2022

If you missed the chance to see it in person, you can explore this year’s summer show virtually here.

Final Thoughts

Our team is continuously inspired by the creativity, enthusiasm and ambition of the young community. The masterclass was a fantastic opportunity to support the club members and help them develop communication and team-working skills. We were overjoyed to see the work of these talented individuals being celebrated and shared with a variety of industries and the public!

A huge thank you to the National Saturday Club for the amazing work that they do and for including Flight Crowd in your professional network. We are very excited about our future collaborations!

You can read National Saturday Club’s blog on our masterclass here. If you wish to deliver a masterclass and support the National Saturday Club follow the links!


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