?Why Elon Musk Started a School at His House
He didn't think regular schools were doing a good enough job of preparing kids
He's a big proponent of teaching people to think based on first principles, which is figuring out how things work by boiling them down to the basics. For example, It used to be that people thought a radical improvement in rocketry was impossible. Space agencies and private companies tried to build reusable rockets but failed. The only one that kind of worked was NASA's space shuttle. But the cost of refurbishing the boosters by fishing them out of the ocean was so great that it didn't make sense.
First principles thinking would break down the cost of the rockets materials and figure out how to reassemble the materials to produce a more affordable rocket, which is SpaceX's mission. Ad Astra School originally began out of SpaceX's rocket factory in Hawthorne, California, to teach Elon's children and the kids of some employees. Then it moved to his house for a couple of years, the one that formerly belonged to Gene Wilder. Elon was a guest lecturer. The teacher who helped create the curriculum was Josh Dunn..
Don taught one of Elon's sons at a private school for gifted children in LA. The SpaceX CEO then approached him to start an experimental school at his rocket factory.
It looked like a totally different experience than a typical school. Instead of classes in languages, music or sports, kids focused on critical thinking, solving the types of problems SpaceX employees tackle.
He's referring to the fins that come down when the Falcon nine lands.
The lesson of first principles is to not be bound by what's already been done. You don't have to create grid fins of the same design, size or material. You can even go back to the drawing board completely and imagine something totally different that could direct a descending rocket. Can something other than grid fins be better for the successor to the Falcon nine Starship? There were also questions related to Tesla as students had exposure to Tesla's design studio within SpaceX's Hawthorne Factory.
There are many different ways to answer this question. What Josh was looking for was the ability to reason. Centering Superchargers around dense populations is a start.
It's a remarkable what kids are capable of when you give them opportunities where they have decisions to make.
Josh now runs Synthesis, an online program, applying the same type of thinking at Elon School.Students from around the world strategize in teams as a way to mirror collaboration in real life.
Although the students are as young as eight, the problems they have to answer are difficult even for adults. For example, imagine that rocket travel is as normal as plane travel. If you had to choose one future, which would it be
traveling to anywhere on earth within an hour(1.
2) going sightseeing on the moon or three.
3)starting a city on Mars. Again, There's no right or wrong answer.
It's about figuring out what the future will look like and then building that future in the way that Tesla is looking to disrupt transportation and space. The rocket industry. Elon is reimagining the future of education. Although his original private school is no longer running, he's opened up another ad, Astra School at Space X's Starbase in Texas with a few dozen students. Will this type of education produce the next great entrepreneur? There are many ways to learn that can be more effective than sitting in a classroom.