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You Can Do the Rubiks Cube

Students of different grades worked cooperatively with one question in mind:

How do I complete the Rubiks cube?
Curriculum/State Standards

Science as Inquiry
Abilities necessary to do scientific
Understandings about scientific inquiry
Reading Standards for Literacy in Science
and Technical Subjects 6-12: Key Ideas
and Details
Follow precisely a complex multistep
procedure when carrying out experiments,
taking measurements, or performing
technical tasks.
Craft and Structure
Determine the meaning of symbols, key
terms, and other domain-specific words
and phrases as they are used in a specific
scientific or technical context relevant to
grades 6-8 texts and topics.


Solving the Rubiks cube is a multi-step

process that ranges from learning the
anatomy of the cube to finding the best
algorithms for solving the cube quicker
than previous times. The students
worked cooperatively with each other
and mentors to discover not only how to
solve the 3x3 Rubiks cube, but to also
learn about the variety of other cube-like
puzzles that are awaiting them.


The students will learn and develop

algorithms for solving the Rubiks cube.
The students will work collaboratively
by sharing discoveries and assisting one
another as they try to solve the Rubiks
The students will appreciate the
characteristic of perseverance as they are
faced with the challenge of solving the
Rubiks cube.



l supplies. chan


Rubiks cubes
certificates of achievement
timing devices

Readiness Activity

In preparation, the students were

introduced to a mentor that was able
to complete several types of Rubiks
puzzles: 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, 5x5, pyramid,
sphere, and rings. They were then
allowed to ask questions about the
puzzles and how he learned to complete


1. Have the students meet an individual

to introduce the Rubiks cube to them.
2. Explore the anatomy of the cube by
identifying the core pieces and then the
corners and side pieces. The students
should see that the center pieces do not
move and that they represent what that
particular faces color should be.
3. Teach the students the way the
cube moves by using the vocabulary
that they will find in solving guides and
videos. (You Can Do the Cube is a great
4. The puzzle may be completed in six
steps. Have the students practice each
step over and over until that particular
step is mastered. A great activity is to
host mini-competitions for the steps
along the way to help the students build
up speed and confidence (They can
chart their own progress to see their

Culminating Activity

We culminated the experience with

the students having to create a mosaic


Richard Dosch
Woodbridge Middle School
Woodbridge, NJ





You Can Do the Rubiks Cube

image from the Rubiks cubes.
We contacted You Can Do The
Cube to request borrowing 225
for the completion of an Albert
Einstein mosaic. This activity took
3 days and ended with an aerial
photograph from atop of our
gymnasium to see the mosaic and
the students that participated in
the activity.
We also visited a local elementary
school to help illustrate the
concepts behind the Rubiks cube
and allowed some of the students
to try and work on a smaller 36
cube mosaic.

Evaluation Method

The programs success was

measured by the students
understanding of the cube. Out
of 15 participants this year, we
have 5 that have memorized the
cube, 6 that can complete the
cube with some prompting from
the manual, and the remainder
can solve a single side with ease.
The top time to solve the 3x3 our
students currently are shooting
to beat is 54 seconds. Although
not everyone has memorized the
cubes algorithms, there has been
a lot of excitement generated by
our program.