Elon Musk is better known for his electric car than for his school. Ad Astra is the private school available fully funded to his employees.
Elon Musk is the CEO and co founder of Tesla. He oversees all product design, engineering, and manufacturing of the company’s electric vehicles, battery products, and Solar Roofs. You are more likely to know him for the Tesla electric car, although for most of us they are out of our budget!
But what you probably did not know about him is that he also opened his own school called Ad Astra. Ad Astra is no ordinary school, its curriculum is very heavy on science, math, engineering, robotics, and Artificial Intelligence. The original purpose of the school was for Musks own 5 boys to attend but now the school has 30 students aged 7-13.
Elon Musk – Ad Astra
Elon Musk has some very different views on what children should be learning and what he deems to be a waste of time. Ad Astra brought these views to reality. Musk believes that studying human language, music and sport are fruitless. Instead, ethical and geopolitical problems are debated by the children.
In the next breath, the children are constructing weather balloons, battling robots or blowing things up (all in the name of education). The children decide on at least 50% of the c subject matter.
Elon Musk tuition fee
Elon Musk funds the school and there are no tuition fees for those children that attend. According to taxes submitted for Mr. Musk, it shows that he has given $475,000 to the school each year. This seems somewhat extravagant for a school that has only 30 pupils.
Children that think?
Elon Musk has produced an environment in which children can think for themselves. Where they can decide the ethics of each situation and also crucially when to make those tough decisions.
Are these children better prepared for this brave new world than those that have studied a conventional curriculum? Have they missed out by not studying language, music, and sport? By not studying the arts will these children be devoid of human emotion?
There is no comparison between a conventional curriculum and that of Ad Astra. A curriculum that is heavily devised by children, will only work for the type of child who is of that disposition. For those children that are not academic, the Ad Astra form of the curriculum would be unworkable.
Access to better facilities, better equipment, and far better entrepreneurial opportunities will set these children apart. Unfortunately, without a complete overhaul of the current education system and some serious financial input, anything like Ad Astra is simply unreachable for most schools.
Convential or Ad Astra?
Can you imagine what a school with 300 pupils could do with the same amount of financial backing as Ad Astra? While the Ad Astra kids are asking for flame throwers for an experiment there are schools that do not have enough basic equipment such as books, pens or pencils.
The world in which this generation of children are growing up in is a far cry from the one that many of us did. With this in mind surely our education system needs to move with the times. It needs to provide more opportunities for our children to think ‘outside the box’.
Ad Astra children will be better equipped for critical thinking and problem solving that is certain. However, how will they fare in a conventional school once they are too old to attend the Elon Musk school? The true test of the unconventional but interesting teaching style of Ad Astra will then be seen.