Tesla CEO Elon Musk donated $5 million to education group Khan Academy

(Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Through his foundation, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has donated $5 million to Khan Academy, a non-profit educational platform that provides free video tutorials and that has exploded in popularity during the global pandemic.

Worldwide, the Kahn Academy has 120 million registered users and a library of learning content, including interactive exercises, across a variety of subjects. The educational content ranges from a “fairy tales reinvented” reading course for young children to advanced computer programming courses.

The Kahn Academy was started in 2005 by Sal Kahn, who was initially using the platform to teach his cousin. Today, the online academy supports learners around the world, with lessons translated into three dozen languages. Khan Academy is supporting more than 100 public school districts in the United States as it responds to the unprecedented demand for remote learning during COVID-19.

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In a YouTube video expressing thanks to Musk for the donation, Kahn says the donation will help support a number of programs, helping the platform build up science content and expand early learning programs as well as make the software more engaging for students and teachers. The Kahn Academy, Kahn says, has the budget of a large high school, but aspirations to serve the globe.

“There’s people throughout the planet who need a way to tap into their potential,” Kahn said in the video. “And I view this type of investment in what we’re doing as really foundational for us to be able to build a multigenerational institution, so that future Elon Musks of the world are also able to tap into their potential and help all of us uplevel who we are as a civilization.”

Khan goes on to say that Musk — who is also revolutionizing travel in space with his rocket company SpaceX — has long been an inspiration. He even addresses the entrepreneur directly in the video.

“Any time that I question myself and I say ‘Is this mission too big to actually try and educate all of humanity, I think of the incredible work that you’ve done,” Khan said.

Musk has been described as the 21st century’s Thomas Edison and, with wealth topping $185 billion, he’s considered the richest person in the world in 2021.

Musk distributes millions of dollars through the Musk Foundation, which funds grants for areas including renewable energy, human space exploration research, pediatric research, science and engineering education and the development of safe artificial intelligence that can benefit humanity.

Want to learn more about the Kahn Academy? Here’s where you can find free courses on a variety of topics.

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Brittany Anas

Hi, I'm Brittany Anas (pronounced like the spice, anise ... see, that wasn't too embarrassing to say, now was it?) My professional writing career started when I was in elementary school and my grandma paid me $1 for each story I wrote for her. I'm a former newspaper reporter, with more than a decade of experience Hula-hooping at planning meetings and covering just about every beat from higher-education to crime to science for the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Now, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in travel, health, food and adventure. I've contributed to publications including Men's Journal, Forbes, Women's Health, American Way, TripSavvy, Eat This, Not That!, Apartment Therapy, Denver Life Magazine, 5280, Livability, The Denver Post, Simplemost, USA Today Travel Tips, Make it Better, AAA publications, Reader's Digest, Discover Life and more. Learn More.