Everyone knows that Elon Musk took his sons out of the private LA schools and built his own secretive school called Ad Astra for his children in 2014. The school is in a corner of SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The school is a non-profit school that only has 40 children in it. Among the 40 children are Elon Musk’s sons, kids of SpaceX employees, and some of the top achievers from LA.
The Principal of the school is a teacher of one of his sons. The school was formed with the vision to exceed traditional school metrics on all relevant subject matter via project-based learning experiences.
Elon has not talked about the details of the school on any public occasion. Not much is known and it yet remains a mystery. Last year 400 families vied for the 12 open spots in the school.
But here are some of the most iconic characteristics of the school.
The school is low profile and the website only has a logo with its email address –zero marketing. There are no pictures of the school available on the internet other than a glimpse from an unlisted YouTube video. Some IRS documents are available though.
The location of the school makes it a rebellion as no school is situated inside a running company. The school has dedicated classrooms and a chemistry lab at SpaceX, with the startup flavor. Everything else is like regular schools like MacBook for every student and food trucks after the school.
The school has primary focus on Science, Math, Engineering, and Ethics. No languages, art, or music at the school because Musk believes computers will be able to do real time aided translation soon.
Another area of focus is on the rise of Artificial Intelligence. Elon Musk fears about it more than nuclear weapons. A module in curriculum is called Geneva which deals with ethical and geopolitical problems.
Other module is A-Frame which involves fabricating everything forms weather balloons to fighting with robots. Children can use a flamethrower and use electromagnetic pulse technology in the designs.
The curriculum changes every year and students decide half of the subject matter themselves. Current projects are environmental policy, space exploration, and North Korea.
The future of Ad Astra
Two of the oldest sons of Musk will graduate and will have to go back to a traditional high school this September. The boys will face some insurrection in their future.
Seeing how the students from Ad Astra deal with more established and standardized curriculum will tell us how effective the school’s unorthodox approach really is. It’s time to see if Elon will keep on adding more grades to the school as his eldest sons keep growing.
So, from the evident future it can be said that Ad Astra will remain an exclusive school. Since, it has intense staff to student ratio; the school will never exceed 50 students.
However, parents don’t need to be disappointed as Ad Astra will open source its entire curriculum for every family that applied for admission.