DIY TriMathlon: Rubik's Cube Challenge

Nov 14, 2014

Were you unable to attend our recent 4th Annual TriMathlon? Do you still want to join in the TriMathlon challenge fun? Today we'll share with you how you can create a fun and challenging DIY TriMathlon event to test your child's math skills!



Our TriMathlon sponsor, You Can Do the Rubik's Cube, provided our final National Tie-Breaker challenge. To recreate this challenge at home, you'll need a few materials.

What you'll need:


1) First prepare your Rubik's cube for the challenge. Place numbered stickers on each side of the cube, following the picture guidelines below (note: the Rubik’s logo corresponds to 0):



































2) You are now ready to begin your challenge! Place the Rubik's cube on the table in front of your contestant(s). Show them the Rubik's Cube Challenge Prompt below:

Once your contestant understands the challenge, set your stopwatch for 5 minutes. Signal that it's time to start, and begin your stopwatch countdown. Four minutes into the challenge, warn your contestant that there is only one minute left. After 5 minutes are up, tell your contestant to place the Rubik's cube on the table with the side they want scored facing up.

3) It's scoring time! Place the Rubik's cube on the official Mathnasium TriMathlon Rubik's Challenge scoring sheet, then add up the numbers on the side facing up with help from your contestant.


After the scores are in, as an extra exercise, have your contestant try to figure out the highest score possible using this configuration.




(Answer: It’s 77)



Make sure to save the scoring and comparison of scores until the challenge is over, so that students do not feel defeated midway through the challenge.



4) Looking for more fun Rubik’s Cube challenges? Try these additional activities:



Do the challenge again, this time specifying that the red side of the Rubik’s Cube be subtracted from the total, rather than added. Try to find the highest score.


Do the challenge again, this time trying to put together the lowest sum.



Have your contestant solve the Rubik’s cube normally, and see if they notice anything interesting (for example, the stickers may face different directions.)



Make your own configuration of numbers that differs from the final TriMathlon challenge and try to find the highest score.


Can you think of any fun challenges to do with the Rubiks Cube? Let us know in the comments! If you complete our TriMathlon Rubiks challenge, please share photos or video with us on Facebook and/or Twitter.


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