Elon Musk answers High School Students' questions in a live streaming session - Is yours similar?

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A number of high school students had the chance to ask some very interesting questions to the Man behind Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk. What do these students think of Elon?

"I don't know what I thought a billionaire would sound like, but like this guy is aggressively normal" a high school student stated right after the host with Elon Musk was completed.

Several high school students within Hack Club, a global non-profit network of high school students and hack clubs which are now located in 400 high schools, had the opportunity to meet the man behind, SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, Solar city, Neuralink and OpenAI (formerly), Elon Musk and ask him some very interesting questions where almost all of us would  only be dreaming to get an opportunity like this.

Hack Club aims to bring students together and create big things which could shape the world in the future through a series of many Hackathons around the year.

High school students working together on a project during a Hackathon event.
High school students working together on a project during a Hackathon event.

A Hackathon is a design-sprint like event where computer programmers and others with different skillset come together and collaborate intensively to produce a software project and have the opportunity to present their work at the end of the event. Typicaly Hackathons range between 24 and 72 hours in length.

The online event was streamed on the video sharing platform, YouTube and took part at the 24th of April which can be still be viewed now, generating over 35,000 views during the first 24 hours.

Some notable questions from the students include:

"There is a widespread belief that solving climate change and capitalism are incompatible. You founded SpaceX and Tesla as for-profit companies. Do you think we need to change capitalism or how do you see the role of for-profit cooperations trying to solve climate change?" - a great question asked by a student from the Pennsylvania state college according to Elon Musk.

"Capitalism is a good system provided the rules are set correctly", said the tech giant. "Carbon tax is the solution", Elon states later. "There should be one imposed soon.".

Another question came from the founder of the Hack Club, Zack Latta who separated his question in 3 parts.

"Tabs or spaces? Vim or Emacs? light or dark mode?".

Before moving to the answer, a short explanation is needed. By "tabs or spaces", Zack means whether Elon would suggest using tabs or spaces to indent a code line. "Vim or Emacs", whether a computer programmer should use Vim or Emacs to write code and compile it. An interesting question posing some challenge to Elon.

"I suppose tabs. Generally use like a basic text editor not Vim or Emacs" the tech billionaire suggests. He also mentioned he did a lot of programming for game environments and stated that compilers should be improved. "We should put more work on compilers to catch errors like memory leaks and defining variable wrong, would massively improve bug tracing". Zack later disagreed with Elon's first answer stating spaces is the only correct answer.

Once the host finished, students had a chance to share their thoughts about Elon. All of the students loved the session and multiple thoughts circulated during that period.

One of the high school students commented Elon as:

"I don't know what I thought a billionaire would sound like, but like this guy is aggressively normal."

Immediately, another student stated:

"He is just like us"

During the live session and the discussion between the students and Elon, we got the impression that Elon can handle conversations pretty well just like many of us. He definitely won't make you feel "small" and is a person who you could end up having a conversation for hours.

The host wrapped up by showcasing 7 creative projects students within the Hack Club community produced including ncovid19.live, a covid-19 tracking website attracting around 20-30 million visitors a day. According to the creator, the website uses automated web scraping technologies to update covid-19 data every minute.

Another notable project named as Food Bank Support, allowing people with the need of food to be connected with food pick up locations. The web application works by entering a location and with the help of an interactive map, it shows all the food pickup locations around that area.

Many interesting creative projects introduced by the high school students which can always be found on the official Hack Club twitter account.

Hack Club announced they will be having more hosts including the founder of Patreon, Jack Conte on the 30th of April and Simone Giertz, the Queen of Shitty Robots & Investor of Truckla on the 7th of May. All of their sesions will be streamed live on the official Hack Club YouTube channel.

The live stream may be viewed again below.

Now imagine you are in a live session with the tech mogul and you have the opportunity to ask a question. What would your question be? Be sure to share your question with others in the comment section below. One that note, we have opened a topic in our forum which you may visit and share a question you are willing to ask Elon. Who knows? Maybe Elon will see your question and answer it!

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George K.

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