Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has started an experimental school, Astra Nova, in California, but it’s now opening its doors to children around the world through an online learning program. The innovative school aims to help students learn through experiments and hands-on activities like building miniature robots with Lego kits while imparting 21st-century skills like critical thinking and collaboration.
kids from 8 to 14 years old can enroll in classes designed and taught by educators at Ad Astra from anywhere in the world. It’s the perfect learning environment for adults who want to go back to school but need flexibility in their lives to be able to do so – which, admittedly, is more than one can say about traditional brick-and-mortar schools these days.
Ad Astra is an unconventional school designed to get kids excited about learning through fun and games—no desks or straight lines, but rockets and robots; no forced learning (they had no grades), but curiosity-driven exploration; and lots of freedom to shape their own academic pursuits.
Musk will be offering an online service called Synthesis Universe.
Through an announcement made over Twitter. In response to reporter questions regarding what exactly Musk hoped to accomplish with his self-titled Universe, he simply stated that teaching others how they can better themselves was one of his ultimate goals.
Elon Musk said “I want to improve quality of life across all spectrums, but I see knowledge and understanding as being most important. You can’t really understand anything if you don’t deeply understand your own experience; synthesizing world experience seems key here. How do we synthesize everything humans know? That’s where I think synthesis can help.
Knowledge is contextual and dynamic by nature. We need to have a tool that captures that nuance. My goal is to build something valuable enough that anyone in any corner of our Universe who needs it can easily access it, he says. He explains his main inspiration comes from wanting children all over the world to have access to an education regardless of their socioeconomic status or location; he wants them all to have access at no cost.
Education to Scale
Today, you may be thinking about startups like Airbnb and Uber that are disrupting industries but not traditional education. But if anyone can revolutionize education, it’s probably Elon Musk. His new school, called Astra Nova, plans to educate students from kindergarten through college entirely online—and it could have enormous implications for how we learn going forward. Although there isn’t much more detail on what exactly Musk will build with his new venture, he does plan to charge staggeringly low fees. Whatever its eventual design, however, you can bet that a digital learning platform will make a lot of sense in an increasingly connected world where nearly everyone has some form of digital access.
“The original Ad Astra School was a non-profit 501c(3) completely free to students, with Musk personally picking up the entire tab,” the Daily Beast reported. “In contrast, Astra Nova has been incorporated as a traditional for-profit business, according to a filing with the California Secretary of State’s office.”
The price tag for this experimental learning comes out to $7,500 per student for the full year, but the classes will only take place on Thursdays, according to Astra Nova. If you can’t answer any of the questions your kid has the rest of the week, just have them tweet @elonmusk.