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Make Our Children Smarter With a Rubik's Cube

 


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All parents want their children to succeed in life; That's why we educate them. Parents know that children should be given maximum exposure to education while they are still young to unleash their hidden potential.

At the very least, there is still one untried method, and it costs only a few dollars. Absolutely reasonable, and worth the time spent by your children. The wonder solution? Rubik's Cube.

Brief introduction of the world best-selling toy

After all, it should come as no surprise. Initially developed by Erno Rubik as a tool to help students understand more about three-dimensional geometry, Rubik's Cube has instead become one of the world's best-selling toy ever.

As with all complex games, the rules are simple: solve the game, by making each face of the cube having only a single colour. However, it is extremely challenging to do so: Although a standard 3X3 Rubik's Cube can present 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible scenarios, or simply more than 43 quintillion possible configurations, sadly the fact is there is only 1 solution for each scenario.

Hence, the possibility of someone able to solve every conceivable scenario is so minimal that it tends to zero. It is a game that tests more on logic and reason than on guesswork. Solving the cube is easy; any newcomer can solve most problems within a few weeks of interaction. What differentiates the “cubaholics" from the novices , is that the former seeks out God's Algorithm - The formula for solving the cube in the least number of moves, i. e. to say, the optimal solution. And that, is what that gives the Rubik's Cube huge potential as an excellent teaching tool.

Why Rubik's Cube?

First, playing Rubik's Cube can help children to develop good habits like patience. To solve any scenario of the cube using the least number of steps is not easy: One has to think slowly. There is no room for guesswork - a few steps in the wrong direction within a few seconds is all it takes to destroy the solver's painstaking work done within the past hour. This inevitably trains children to think carefully before making any move, similar to chess. Through the game they learn that patience and perseverance is the key to success.

Second, not all people who can solve Rubik's cube can said to be masters at it. The truly proficient ones are those who need not rely on guesswork: They are the ones who are able to instruct novices on how to solve the cube in a systematic way, using logical reasoning that anyone can understand. And it is this insistence on logical reasoning required by this game, that subconsciously trains the child's brain to be systematic and disciplined in whatever they do in the future.

For parents who wish to see their children working in the fields of computer engineering or architecture, Rubik's Cube provides an even more convincing reason.

Even though there are so many possible scenarios in the Rubik's Cube, apparently it has been proven that a maximum of 23 steps is all that is required to solve each puzzle. The endless search for the optimal solution has resulted in people being more interested in the applications of algorithms, or simply known as a sequence of instructions. More and more people in all industries are using algorithms to solve problems with extremely vast and complicated possibilities, such as the Rubik's Cube. This is quite common in the fields of computer engineering, and to cite an example, the algorithms behind the mechanisms of an excellent search engine was what it took to propel Google to the major player in the market. Algorithms are set to play an increasingly significant role in expanding the boundaries of computer engineering in the future, and Rubik's Cube can allow children to be familiar and interested in the practical applications of algorithms.

As with architecture, the construction of the Rubik's Cube itself is already an excellent teaching tool on geometry. If you don't believe it, try making a Rubik's Cube on your own. Though the geometry involved will not be discussed here in this article, there is sufficient reason to believe children who interact often with the Rubik Cube can develop great interest and insights on the mathematical structure and the balance struck within physical objects.

The practicability of using Rubik's Cube as a teaching tool

So far, there seems to be no real world evidence or study on the feasibility of using Rubik's Cube as a teaching tool. Evidently, there may be some limitations to implementing this new practice:

Possible reason 1 : Students may get bored with playing the Rubik's Cube the entire day. This is especially true regarding students with short attention spans.

Suggested solution : However, this can be easily solved by introducing games such as Sudoku, Rubik's Cube and Monopoly as a packaged course. Since these games equally stimulate the mind, it may be much easier for children to accept these games rather than plain drills to enhance their learning skills.

Possible reason 2 : Some critics may argue that using Rubik's Cube is probably not feasible because it has not been tried before.

Suggested Solution: The writer admits that there seems to be no real world evidence that can prove that any teacher has tried it before. However, we should not let this deter us in giving our children quality education. If this Rubik's Cube can really do wonders for our children, do we really want to give up the idea just because no one else has done it before?

After word

At the end of the day, parents still want their children to have the best education that they can afford. Now, teachers have used song lyrics, blogs and even social networks like MySpace to communicate and teach their students. This signals that the children are exposed to a different culture from the past era, and parents will do well to take in new teaching methods with a open mindset. The Rubik Cube is one that has huge potential in helping your child to excel in life. Try it, and you may have a pleasant surprise.

Sources/Citations:

  • rubiks.com
  • inventors. about.com/od/rstartinventions/a/Rubik_Cube.htm

Article by Yeo Teck Wei, who is a freelance writer based in Singapore, whose forte includes motivational, current affairs, economics and health issues. If you like what you read, get weekly reads delivered to your email address when you sign up for my newsletter, The Paper Model.

To sign up for TPM - http://the-paper-model.blogspot.com

To visit my home site - http://www.freelancefusion.com/asia/yeoteckwei/

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