Education is the main goal of the OCESS. It is the OCESS's mission to educate its members, its fellow students, and the community at large about space and space science. Spacesim is also an environment in which leadership, research, software development, carpentry, and electronics skills can be learned.
Since the OCESS is an educational organization, its major goal is to teach members and non-members alike about space sciences. However, much of the learning experience that OCESS members receive is actually not related to space. Just by participating in work sessions, members have an opportunity to learn the theories about and actually undertake various tasks. Electronics and woodworking are examples of things that Spacesim members pick up just by going to the work sessions. Leadership opportunities within the strict administration hierarchy of Spacesim are also offered to students who wouldn't otherwise have such opportunities.
Since Spacesim is a space-oriented organization, its members also have the opportunity to learn a lot about space sciences. The Mission, which occurs once every year and lasts five days, is a chance for OCESS members to learn about space travel and life in space. Aside from the mission, OCESS members have an opportunity to learn about astronomy by helping out in either the EEP or Planetarium programs.
Elementary Education Program
- Main article: Elementary Education Program
The OCESS Elementary Education Program has been a major component of Spacesim since the early 1990's. The program, colloquially known as EEPs either invites school groups, daycares, or recreational centers to the spacesim facilities at 440 Albert or has Spacesim members travel to them to deliver an exciting program of science demonstrations with a space theme.
There are programs for all age groups, and the demonstrations have often been successfully combined with Planetarium presentations. The program has previously been offered bilingually, but this service is dependent on the language skills of the current members of Spacesim. Half-day and full-day installments are available.
Although no EEPs have been advertised recently, members of the OCESS are working to redevelop them. For more information on this, see Samuel's Proposal to Rejuvenate EEPs.
- Main article: Planetarium
The Planetarium program makes use of Spacesim's inflatable Starlab planetarium, the second largest in the city after the National Museum of Science and Technology's, to teach students about stars, constellations, and light pollution among other topics.
Classes of up to 30 students at a time can comfortably sit inside the planetarium, and there are presentations of varying length to accommodate the interests and/or attention spans of various age groups.
- Main article: Galileo Challenge
Within Lisgar, Spacesim used to offer the Galileo Challenge to all Lisgar students. It was a general knowledge science-themed multiple-choice competition aimed at grades 9 and 10. This program was discontinued due to lack of interest from students at Lisgar.
- Main article: Mini Mission
Similar to Training Missions for Spacesim's own members, mini missions were short missions, emphasising a few key aspects of life in space. The astronauts and mission controllers for these missions would be younger students, usually from grades 7 and 8. This program was discontinued due to difficulties encountered with OCDSB Health and Safety Regulations.
Spacesim Summer Camp
- Main article: Summer Camp
In addition to these programs, Spacesim formerly offered a Summer Camp. This summer camp was aimed at educating children about space sciences over the summer. Children participating in the Summer Camp had access to our Planetarium and EEP; as well as our space simulation software and facilities. At the end of the week they were able to participate in their own simulated Mission. This program was discontinued due to difficulties encountered with OCDSB Health and Safety Regulations.