Rubik’s Cubers Encourage Students to Join
Cailey Larouco, Veritas Staff
Interested in developing problem solving skills, 3D visualization and math skills? Well, the Rubik’s Cube Club might be the club for you.
Advised by Angela Armstrong, the head of the science department, the Rubik’s Cube Club is all about speed solving, building mosaics, and teaching students how to solve a cube.
According to Mrs. Armstrong, the club “can teach you how to solve, which is really awesome” and can teach you important skills that revolve around math.
The club consists of ten members, eight of whom are members of the team. All ten members meet biweekly and work on trying to solve twenty-five cubes. They also work on mosaics which are pictures or patterns produced by arranging together small, colored pieces of hard material.
In the past, the club has created mosaics of talk show host, Ellen Degeneres, RHS Principal, Mr. Harrison, and Rockland’s mascot, a bulldog. These complex, hundred-cubed, detailed mosaics have been preserved and can be found throughout Rockland High School.
Three members of the RHS Rubik’s Cubers are currently first, second, and third in the country in the three by three cube category.
Senior Hannah Wyllie, one of the founders of the club, got involved with Rubik’s Cube Club a few years ago.
“A few of my friends and I started solving cubes, and as we became more interested we thought it would be fun to make a club and start solving as a team. We convinced Mrs. Armstrong to be our advisor and got the club approved by Mr. Harrison, and the rest is history.”
Wyllie says she started this club because “solving cubes was something fun to do and we wanted to challenge ourselves by going to competitions as a team.”
Another club founder, Jad Bendarkawi, a senior, explains how the idea of the club came about.
“Our 8th grade year there was a group of us who learned and practiced cubing so we always joked about getting one started at the high school. We actually were able to go through with it under Ms. Armstrong as our advisor.”
According to Bendarkawi, the club has taught him how to be “continual learner. There are 43 quintillion combinations of algorithms to solve the cube so whether it be practicing new finger tricks or picking up a new set of algorithms, I’m encouraged to keep learning from my peers.”
Bendarkawi’s favorite memory is when the team built a mosaic of Ellen Degeneres for the Arts Festival.
“It was about 6 feet tall and when we tried transporting it on a dolly the whole thing toppled over. Our first goal was to get noticed by her on Twitter and hopefully get on her show, but after the topple incident we ended up only re-building 80% of the damage that was done. Nevertheless, the experience was really fun, especially as it was our first time building a mosaic for a school event.”
The Rubik’s Cube Club encourages interested students to join. “I would encourage anyone to join, whether you can solve or not, as cubing teaches you a lot beyond how to solve a cube,” says Wyllie.
Expanding on that note, Bendarkawi states, “Learning how to solve the Rubik’s Cube is super fun and challenging. We compete in local competitions and build giant mosaics, so if you’re up for a competitive race against yourself I’d say go for it.”
He also stressed the group aspect of the club. “We also do team solves so you’ll never have to be alone or pushed beyond what you’re comfortable with!”
“Students join the club by talking to one of the current members or directly to Mrs. Armstrong. We meet on a loose schedule so it’s best to come find one of us,” said Bendarkawi.