Elon Musk started a school called Ad Astra in the offices of SpaceX — and a new report has revealed that its curriculum is absolutely wild.
A new report from Ars Technica drew together information about the school, including a freshly uncovered document filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which revealed that Musk funds it to the tune of nearly half a million dollars.
Ad Astra (meaning “to the stars” in Latin) has not exactly been a secret since its launch in 2014, but details about what goes on at the school have been scant. Its website is enigmatic, containing only a logo, a contact email, and a portal for parents.
Musk, who has five sons, co-founded Ad Astra in Hawthorne, California with teacher Joshua Dahn. In an interview with entrepreneur Peter Diamandis last year, Dahn said that Ad Astra started out with just eight children in a conference room at SpaceX with glass walls.
The school now has around 40 students, around half of which are the children of SpaceX staff. The IRS document notes it will probably never exceed 50 students “because of the intense staff to student radio.”
Musk told a Chinese TV station about Ad Astra in 2015. “There aren’t any grades, making all of the children go in the same grade at the same time like an assembly line,” he said. Instead, children aged seven to 14 work together in teams, and while they do receive scores on their work, they do not receive letter-grades at the end of a semester.