Saturday, August 22, 2015

Cubing at Camp

Two local Rubik’s Cube top competitors, known as cubers, demonstrated their skills at A Place for Girls for Girl Scout campers. Maggie Jordan, a student at James Blair Middle School in Norfolk, and Ankush Hommerich-Dutt, a high school student from Hampton, performed what seemed magic at an afternoon session. In 18 seconds, Ankush twisted and turned the cube and “voila” it returned to its original pattern. The cubers brought out an assortment of cubes and had members from the audience mix up the square panels on each cube until it was a mix of colors. Then each cuber clocked themselves while solving the cube’s puzzle. When Ankush solved a cube puzzle blindfolded, the girls were in awe and the question “how do you do that” came from several in the room.

There’s no quick answer, Ankush said. “It takes time and practice.” He recommends watching skill-building videos on YouTube and investing in quality cubes. As a cuber who competes in speed cubing regularly, he is constantly on the lookout for new cubes and ways to become better.

Aditi Dutt, a parent educator and mother of Ankush, says the time her son spends on the Rubik Cube is time well spent.

“It helps with geometry, algebra, direction-following, memorization and perseverance, just to name a few,” she said. “It also gave him a sense of accomplishment and he is rewarded every time he solves a hard puzzle. And I love to watch him perform!"