Students in grades 5-8 from four school districts – Ephrata Area, Lampeter Strasburg, Penn Manor, and Red Lion Area – convened at Ephrata Intermediate School on Monday, May 6 for a first-time event, a Rubik’s Challenge.
The goal of the event was to provide students with an opportunity to increase their stamina, perseverance, problem solving, and self-esteem when engaged in the common task of solving a Rubik’s Cube. “Through the cube, students link visual spatial relationships with algorithms while working through the sequence of the cube. It is incredible to see the motivation that one small plastic cube can bring out in our students,” said Mrs. Nicole Reppert, Ephrata Intermediate School teacher and event coordinator.
The event was comprised of team and solo contests. Teams of up to eight students attempted to solve 25 cubes collectively as quickly as possible, while solo competitors solved one cube as quickly as possible.
Practice sessions were held in advance, and many students utilized website tutorials to prepare for the event. “Our students have remained motivated and have been working diligently to prepare. The resilience, perseverance, and task dedication to learn the cube has been impressive,” said Mrs. Reppert.
Grade 5 Solo Event
- London Reiff (Ephrata Area) 44.126
- Todd Weist (Ephrata Area) 47.107
- Izabel Musser (Ephrata Area) 54.296
Grade 5 Team Event (Solving 25 Cubes)
- Rubik’s Racers (Ephrata Area) 6:14.925
- Captain Cubers (Ephrata Area) 6:20.420
- Lion Cubers (Red Lion) 8:43.678
EASD Rubik’s Racers: Adam Batzel, Jacob Buckwalter, Alicia Mcgill, Izabel Musser, London Reiff, Shelby Sensenig, and MacKenzie Thoeun
EASD Captain Cubers: Haleigh Cline, Nadia Drobot, Ethan Garman, Ayden Kern, Graham Mendenhall, Peter Suhrbier, Kade Vernon, and Todd Weist
Outside of her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Reppert is an ambassador for Rubik’s and travels to colleges and conferences to teach the challenge to other teachers. Additionally, she hosts workshops and summer camps for students to show firsthand the benefits of cubing.
She initiated the event at EIS this year and hopes to see it grow. As this was the first Rubik’s Challenge in the region, there was interest from schools as far away as New Jersey. “Once feedback has been obtained from all involved in the event this year, I could see it being expanded to include more grade levels and occurring after school or on a weekend to allow for more districts to be involved,” she said.