This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube—an iconic logic game and classic brain teaser. The Rubik’s Cube has been engaging kids and adults alike since its invention in 1974 while teaching basic math concepts like spatial reasoning in the process. According to You CAN Do the Rubik’s Cube a web resource for learning to solve the cube, “holding the Rubik’s Cube, twisting and turning the parts, can help children of all ages grasp important math concepts including area, perimeter, volume, angles, algorithms and enumeration, among many other geometry and algebraic topics.” Be sure to check out Google Doodle to try your hand at the cube and for tips on how to solve the puzzle yourself, head to You CAN Do the Rubik’s Cube.
In honor of the Rubik’s Cube’s birthday, here are some interesting facts about the world’s most popular puzzle.
- The Rubik’s Cube was invented by Ernő Rubik, in Budapest in 1974 and was not created intentionally as a puzzle.
- The original cube was sold in Hungary under the name “Magic Cube” or “Buvuos Kocka” in Hungarian and was renamed the Rubik’s Cube when the toy launched in the US in 1980.
- The number of possible Rubik’s Cube permutations is 43,252,003,274,489,856,000—enough that if there was one cube scrambled for every possible permutation, altogether they could cover the earth fully in 273 layers of Rubik’s Cubes.
- It took Ernő Rubik 1 month to solve the puzzle his first time and restore all the miniature cubes to their original places. The record for the fastest time in solving the Rubik’s Cube is held by Mats Valk who completed the puzzle in 5.55 seconds. See Valk solving the puzzle here:
And as if solving the cube once wasn’t enough, check out the work created by artists like Pete Fecteau (below) as well as artists at Cube Works Studio who turn Rubik cubes into pixel art.
Know a Rubik’s cube master? Consider a competition hosted by schools and organizations throughout the US: http://www.youcandothecube.com/compete-now/
And if you know an NYC student who can solve a logic puzzle in record time, create beautiful images, or choreograph intricate dance routines, then check out the The Discover Your Passion™ Competition offering New York City-based students in second through eighth grade an opportunity to explore their unique gifts, talents and passions in an area of their choice. The $20,000 Scholarship Fund will be awarded to five children who show exceptional promise in academic fields, sports, music, the arts, social entrepreneurship, technology or other disciplines. Finalists will be selected from two categories: 2-5th grade and 6-8th grade. The Grand Prize Winner receives $5000 toward the pursuit of his or her choice; 3 Second Place Winners receive $3500, and 3 Third Place Winners receive $1500, for a total of $20,000. Apply for this scholarship today at http://www.schoolchoiceintl.com/discoveryourpassion/