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Rubik's craze sweeps TAP

Photo of Rubik's cubeThere has been a "cubing" craze sweeping TAP. Students have been participating in activities with Rubik's cube puzzles, including design templates and picture mosaics of historical figures. Recently, the cubers took on another puzzle – building a picture mosaic of their own.

"We started by creating a mosaic to honor the 50 year anniversary of TAP, which is this year," explained math teacher Chris Loria, who has influenced and overseen the cubing craze. She has become an avid fan of the puzzle, which tests spatial aptitude and allows her to evaluate students in a different manner. "Some students may struggle in a traditional test environment, but excel at puzzles and spatial tests such as the Rubik's cube," she continued.

Ms. Loria used a computer program to help map the pixels and slice them into 3x3 squares (the size of one face of the Rubik's cube) to build her template for constructing the sign. With the template in hand and the help of the students, they easily constructed the 50 year anniversary mosaic from cubes loaned to her by the Rubik's company. The next step was converting a real picture into Rubik's cubes.


"There was great interest in honoring our former science teacher, Tom Gillespie, who passed away earlier this summer," Ms. Loria said. "So I took a picture we had of him, and converted it into a template for a mosaic."

Photo of Rubik's cubeThe trend has grown rapidly in the school, involving everyone from students to faculty joining together to help complete the 225-cube mosaics using a system to order the sections and properly label the completed cubes when it comes time to add them to the finished product. Even the principal, Dr. Dudley, has been involved.

"Some high schools have football; we have cubing," Dr. Dudley described with a smile.

Photo of Rubik's cubeThough the mosaic of Mr. Gillespie was a huge success, Ms. Loria had to deconstruct it and return the borrowed cubes back to Rubik's. However, she is working on securing donations to purchase cubes permanently so that the mosaic can be reconstructed – and improved upon.
Photo of Rubik's cube

"Since it was my first design, I know I will get better for the next one," Ms. Loria said.

The website that provides ready-made templates and tips to solving the Rubik's cube can be visited at: youcandothecube.com. If you're interested in donating to Ms. Loria's fund to purchase permanent cubes for her classroom, you can contact her at: Christina.Loria@tusd1.org.