A Fad Returns: Rubik’s Cubes Here, There, Everywhere

It’s always difficult to pinpoint the start of a fad. One of my gifted students brought in a Rubik’s Cube on a mid-year wintry day (maybe back in December). His is a very mathematical mind, prone to solving complex challenges. When this student shared the cube with other students, and noticed how “cool” it seemed to them, he brought in more. A whole bag of Rubik’s Cubes. I didn’t know they came in so many shapes and configurations, to be frank.

They do. Small ones. Big ones. Geometrically shaped ones. Different colored ones.

Suddenly, other sixth graders were bringing in their Rubik’s Cubes, twisting the blocks during passing times in the hallways, or at lunch, or at recess. There were informal Cube Challenges going on all the time. I had never heard of Speed Cubing before, but they had, and that was one of the challenges. How fast can you solve a Cube?

Some did “research” on YouTube, figuring out strategies. Others shared what they knew with friends, teaching how to twist the block into winning mode.

At the end of the day, at the bus loop, I now see younger students with Cubes in their hands. The fad has spread from the older grades to the younger grades.

As someone who remembered the Cube fad as a kid, it was fascinating to watch.  Not just how some students figured out the algorithm of solving a Cube, but also, that this little block of blocks had survived over time. It likely has to do with the algorithmic challenge, and that some people are more adept at the pattern recognition than others.

I don’t expect Silly Bands to make a come-back. I maybe wrong on that. (Please don’t make me wrong on that.) But apparently, these kids dug Rubik’s Cubes out of closets and attics and basements, and maybe ordered some new ones. I’m not sure how or where they found them. But I am pretty sure that it’s just one of those odd things that surfaces for a time, and then disappears again in the midst of an elementary school year. I’ll let you know in September.

Peace (this way and that way, and this way),



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *