Elon Musk Revolutionizes Education for Children of SpaceX Employees

“If you want something done right, do it yourself” is something that Elon Musk, CEO and CTO and Founder of SpaceX, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors and Chairman of SolarCity, strongly believes in. He announced that he did not like his kids’ school, so he started his own in an interview on Beijing Television. The school is named “Ad Astra” which means “To the stars” and it does not have its own landing page or a social media presence yet.

“It’s important to teach problem solving, or teach to the problem and not the tools,” Musk said. “Let’s say you’re trying to teach people about how engines work. A more traditional approach would be saying, ‘We’re going to teach all about screwdrivers and wrenches.’ This is a very difficult way to do it. A much better way would be, like, ‘Here’s the engine. Now let’s take it apart. How are we gonna take it apart? Oh you need a screwdriver!

He says that Ad Astra currently has 14 kids and will increase to 20 in September and it is in its first year after launch. The school does not have any grade levels such that there is no distinction between students in 1st grade and 3rd. He is “making all the children go through the same grade at the same time, like an assembly line,” he says in the interview.

“Some people love English or languages. Some people love math. Some people love music. Different abilities, different times,” he says. “It makes more sense to cater the education to match their aptitudes and abilities.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1594&v=3UxL-0–oQo

The school program is small and experimental at the moment, but considering its approach, it shouldn’t for too long. This is a significant step taken in the direction to improve the teaching methods and education pattern overall. It is nice to see folks doing such advancements in the field of humanity. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know them in the comments section.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Business Insider.

Tesla Launches Powerwall Home Battery – $3.5K for 10kWh!

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla has just announced a new line of stationary batteries for home and utilities. Called Powerwall, these units are meant to store energy when it is scarce, expensive or intermittent. Powerwall can scale up from basic home units to massive energy storage farms for utilities.

For now there are two versions, a 10kWh and a 7kWh model, priced at $3,500 and $3,000 USD respectively. The 10kWh unit is meant more for use as a backup power source in case the grid goes down. The 7kWh unit is built more around dealing with daily power fluctuations related to renewables like solar panels. While both units are much the same and be used interchangeably, Tesla’s materials do say that the 7kWh unit is meant for daily cycling and the 10kWh unit for weekly cycling. Once you compare the price/kWh, it might just be that the 7kWh unit might have some excess capacity built in to let it hit the same 10 year lifespan the larger unit does. As batteries degrade over cycles, capacity can be lost so this might just be the case.

Both units can be mounted unobtrusively on a wall, at only 7 inches thick, 51 inches tall and 34 inches wide. Operating temperatures range from -20C to 43C and the battery itself is liquid cooled. Installation for homes is expected to take between and hour to and hour and a half. Powerwall will be sold by Tesla Energy, which maybe a division in Tesla in a partnership with SolarCity, a solar panel firm. Deliveries begin this summer and units are reservable already. You can find the full press release and the Powerwall page at these links.

Tesla’s Home Battery Will Only be Rented to Consumers

Following on from our previous story regarding the two new batteries due to be introduced by Tesla, a new report has come in that these batteries will only be on loan rather than bought outright. The batteries in question are a battery for home and a “very large scale utility battery” for ‘very large scale tasks’.; which will more likely be applied to hospital emergency power or similar.

All this comes from a report from The Guardian, suggesting that the home battery will be loaned on a similar principle to what SolarCity is experimenting with their solar panels; SolarCity is a company with extremely close ties to Tesla and is expected that they will work closely on this project in the future.

The proposed scheme will be laid out by SolarCity; the customers pay an initial fee of $1,500, this covers the installation and providing of a Tesla Battery. From here, this will be followed by monthly installments of $15 for 10 years. On the grand scheme, the battery costs a huge $13,000, which makes it a very favourable investment for the consumer which only has to pay $3,300 for the 10 years of ‘ownership’. The batteries will be reclaimed after the 10 years of use and we are unsure if another battery will then be leased at the new pricing or if the customers will get a returning offer.

The battery will be powerful enough to sustain power to the home’s lighting, refrigerator, internet and many other electrical appliances during a power cut. They can store energy either from on-grid mains supply, or through renewable sources; possibly solar panels may be offered from SolarCity to keep them topped up on sunny days.

Approximately 300 customers have already installed Tesla batteries in their homes; “It’s clean, it’s quiet and it looks good in the garage … if you are a gadget person living a digital life – you have iPhones and computers and you always want to be connected – the storage battery is a dream come true.”

All this and more will be revealed to the world on April 30th at Tesla’s Hawthrone Design Studio by Elon Musk himself.

Thank you to The Verge for providing us with this information