Rubik’s cube started as a prop in learning architecture. It was invented by a professor of architecture Erno Rubik in 1974. Since then, the mind-twisting cube garnered the interest of people worldwide as a mind-honing apparatus as well as a toy to kill time.
The founder of Kids Station Marketing Sdn Bhd, Eric Tan shared his interest and knowledge in cube puzzles and ways to utilise them in teaching and learning. The webinar was held on 5 July 2021 via Zoom as part of the . “We use this puzzle for many mathematics activities and STEM problem-solving skills. It helps students to understand math concepts including area, perimeter, volume, angles, algorithms and many more,” said Tan.
There are more than 200 types of cube puzzles in the market with the biggest cube weighing almost three kilogram
The webinar included live demonstrations on ways to solve various type of cubes, including beginner, ivy leaf, pyraminx, wooden snake, and 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube
Cube puzzles can be a great tool for visual and tactile learners as they can use their strong senses to solve the cubes. Aside from that, solving cubes often take time, creating moments for students to learn to persevere and focus on their problem-solving skills. It will also help students familiarise themselves with following instructions and directions in order to solve the cube puzzles. “Upon failing to follow the steps carefully, they have to start over and this provides them the opportunity to learn to handle frustration,” said Tan, admiring the Rubik’s cube that has over 43 quintillion possible combinations with 20 moves or less to solve it.
To promote the application of cubes in teaching and learning, Tan conducts workshops in schools and events. He also organises Rubik’s cube competitions. Since 2009, more than 100 competitions have been held in schools and the Malaysia Festival of Minds and Kuala Lumpur Engineering and Science Fair (KLESF). The competitions received both local and international participants.
In collaboration with education departments, workshops were held for teachers to enable the use of Rubik’s cube in the classrooms
Cube workshop held during the KLESF in 2019