Elementary Education Program

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The EEP (Elementary Educational Program) is a now-defunct program whereby Spacesim taught elementary level students from across the city about space and space sciences. This program, which was run by EEP commanders, reached out to inform people within the area of the existance of Spacesim, to provide income, and to educate young people about space and space sciences.

During EEPs, students from various elementary schools would visit Spacesim's facility where they spend either half of or a whole day learning about space in various interactive ways, not limited to stations, contrary to popular belief.

EEPs have not been conducted since 2005-06, during which one EEP was conducted, and the 2009-10 Education Commander Lyra Evans shows a thorough lack of willingess to restart them. Commander Evans cites the loss of a number of EEPs instructional binders and the fact that information about space science is readily available on the internet as the two main reasons in favor of not restarting EEPs. Organized criticism of this position can be found in Samuel's Proposal to Rejuvinate EEPs. Samuel Baltz has gone so far as to swear that there will be EEPs by the time he graduates at the end of 2011.

More information on EEPs can be found in the remaining EEPs binder, currently located in the Spacesim Office, or in the coolers in Keplernicus containing archives.

Stephen Smith and Brian Foo run an EEPs training session in October 2005.
The remainder of the EEPs equipment.


Types of EEPs

There are three major programs offered by Sim. These are, in order of sophistication and age group:


Galactic Tour/Pit Demo (K-4)

This program consists of a "tour of the Solar System". In this program, the participants are given a "galactic passport", and will visit various "stations", each with an interactive activity which will teach the participant about a planet. This is essentially an elaborate "Pit Demo", with lots more detail and information added, but the terms "Pit Demo", and "Galactic Tour" can be, and often are used in conjunction, and mean essentially the same thing.

Pit Demo Stations

Mercury

Here the participants learn about the orbits of the planets

Venus

Here the participants learn about the greenhouse effect, using a bright floodlight, and a jug coated in paint, which mimics the atmosphere of Venus.

Earth

The presenters skip this one.

Mars

Here the presenters teach the participants about meteor impacts. There is a large container of flour, representing the mantle of a planet, with a top layer of coca powder to simulate the crust of the planet. The participants are welcome to throw various objects into the bin, which will simulate a meteorite strike accurately.

Jupiter

Here the presenters explain gravity, and how larger planets have much greater gravity than smaller ones. The presenters have the participants jump on a trampoline, representing the gravity on Earth. The participant is then restrained, to represent the gravity on a larger planet. The infamous Jupiter donkey is finally used to represent the gravity on Jupiter.

Saturn

Here the presenters explain the principles of centrifugal force, using a salad spinner and tiny paper stars.

Uranus

No demo present. A demonstration of methane spectra is being considered.

Neptune

The presenters demonstrate cryogenics, in a cool, explosive way. The techniques include demonstrations using liquid nitrogen, showing the various effects upon a substance that cold has; the ever-popular Liquid Nitrogen Marshmallows make an appearance here.

Pluto

The presenters demonstrate the techniques used by astronomers to seperate solar bodies from stars.

Cosmic Sciences (4-6)

This program is similar to a Galactic Tour, but is more advanced, with many more stations.

Stations

Pit Demo

Please see above.

Electrostatics

Here the presenters do various activities demonstrating the effects of electrostatics using Sim's Van der Graff generator, and various objects.

Newtonian Physics

Here the presenters teach the participants about the basic properties of motion, which are inertia, friction, and momentum. 'Frictionless' carts are used to demonstrate inertia, and a hovercraft to demonstrate friction, or lack of it, and how it applies to doing work in space.

Rocketry

Here the participants learn about the means of propulsion, and of the principles of orbits. In this station, a 1:96 scale model of the Saturn V rocket is used to show how rocket stages work. Sim also has a piece of fire-resistant ceramic, similar to what the shuttle has, and the presenters demonstrate its effectiveness using a propane torch.

Satellites (7-8)

Here the participants get to design their own satellite, using a list of pre-determined parts. It is up to them to define the satellite's purpose, and provide market data that will prove the satellite's worth. The satellites are then judged, and the group with the most profitable design will be declared the winner. The intent of this is to teach the participants the basics of designing for profitability, and the concept of supply and demand.


Mini-Missions (all ages)

OCDSB guidelines changed a number of years ago (before 2009-10) so as to rule out the practice of mini-missions. Often confused with training missions, a mini-mission was a mission conducted solely by non-Spacesim members. Here, the participants underwent a mission similar to our 120-hour main mission. This program was probably the best of all of the programs due to its flexibility. OCESS could tailor-make experiments for the age group, or even have the participants make their own experiments. The mission could last from a half-day to as long as we can humanely go (4 days is regarded as the maximum, but we can, and gladly will, go over). This activity may be done by one class, or more than one if we have multiple days, and various dockings with space stations and crew transfers are optional.

The Educational Branch

EEPs, along with the Planetarium program, compose the educational branch of Spacesim. Spacesim typically charges $125 for a half-day or $175 for a full day. The half-day programs are Cosmic Sciences and Galactic Tours. Until the OCDSB ruled out the practice of mini-missions, OCESS generally charged $175 for each full day, but the costs were flexible for long-haul missions.


See Also