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Shuttle craft are smaller space ships capable of carrying 1 to 20 people. They are usually stored in a bay onboard a larger ship.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation the standard compliment of shuttlecraft for a Galaxy class ship is:
10 Type-6 Shuttles (11 Person)
8 Type-7 Shuttles (12 Person)
30 Type-15 Shuttles (2 Person)
20 Sphinx Worksleds (2 Person)
1 Captain’s Yacht (8 Person)

As each shuttle is considered a separate space ship, they can be entered and flown in the simulation. They can also be assigned crew members and given pre-defined tasks to perform. These tasks might be generic (e.g. Sweep the area for mines) or specific to a particular scenario (transport the ambassador to the planet).

The starship can hold many different types of ships. We are able to assign teams to work on them (Engineering) or man them (Security). 

Engineering teams can be sent to repair or examine any ship in the bays. This includes alien probes etc. that have been captured.

Security Teams can also be sent to guard any of the Shuttles. This might be used for example, if an escape pod is being pulled in from a potentially hostile force. Not assigning a security team would allow the occupants to run riot on the ship.

Each ship can be assigned a series of commands which are to be carried out. These are:
1.-3 Return to Shuttle Bay #1-#3
4. Dock with Ship (need to assign an external docking port)
5. Defend the ship
6. Sweep for mines
7. Attack specified target
8. Go to specified planet (individual crew commands can be given once landed)
9. Board specified target (if in combat, crew will attempt to take over ship)
10. Tow specified target back to the ship (to retrieve an item)
11. Hold position at specified distance/direction from the ship
12. Investigate specified target (use scanners etc.)

Once a task is completed, the shuttle will report the results back to the ship and then move to the next task.

Remember to re-dock shuttles before entering warp or they will be left behind (though they will attempt to chase after the ship).