(Columbia, S.C.) – How many different ways are there to solve a Rubik’s Cube? According to therubikzone.com it is 43 quintillion. But it only takes the first one to be the fastest.
For the second straight year, students from Richland One middle and high schools will attempt to break the district record for solving a Rubik’s Cube in the fastest time. The first speedcubing competition this school year is Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Crayton Middle School and is produced by EngenuitySC, a nonprofit organization that provides logistical support and connections with private sector resources for schools throughout the district.
In its second year, the Richland One Speedcubing Program provides middle and high school students with an engaging way to sharpen mathematical thinking by applying multiple algorithms. A typical solve will require memorization of more than 70 algorithms.
“Programs like the Rubik’s speedcubing competition build foundational skills in algebraic thinking that can lead to later success in engineering and computer science,” says Meghan Hickman, executive director of EngenuitySC. “All the while, the kids are having a ton of fun.”
Lucas Biel from W.G. Sanders Middle School holds the district record set last year, at 30.34 seconds. The fastest group solve, which challenges six students to solve 25 cubes, was accomplished by the Kool Kubers from W.G. Sanders Middle School in 4:03.359. These times were recorded at the January 2019 and May 2019 competitions, held at Hopkins Middle School and W.G. Sanders Middle School, respectively. The Saturday event will again include both the team solving and individual solving events.
Though many are familiar with the Rubik’s Cube from their own childhoods, the art of solving the cube has slowly regained momentum with younger generations.
“She started out being frustrated about not being able to solve the cube,” said Rebecca Williams about her daughter, who participated in the 2019 Rubik’s League program, “but she put in the research and time and went from just memorizing the steps to applying the steps. Her confidence has grown, and she has come out of her shell.”
Officially sanctioned by Rubik’s, this event is made possible in part by the company’s “You CAN Do The Rubik’s® Cube” outreach program, which provides resources to schools to promote STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) standards and 21st century skills via the Rubik’s Cube in both classroom and after-school settings.
“We are thankful to partner with the Rubik’s brand in planning such an innovative, exciting endeavor,” says Richland One’s Chief of Teaching and Learning, Sandy Brossard. “We hope to continue this tradition for years to come.”