Welcome to the Milford Public Library RUBIKS Cube Challenge!

__Skills to build:__

– Problem solving, memorization, fine motor skills, spacial reasoning, and advanced mathematics.

__What is a RUBIKS Cube?__

– RUBIKS Cube is a three-dimensional combination puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and architect Erno Rubik.

– Competitions are held every year all over the world where people attempt to solve the RUBIKS Cube as fast as possible (see video).

__Break it down:__

– The classic RUBIKS Cube has six colors for each side, which are Blue, Green, Orange, Red, White, and Yellow.

- Each side can rotate all the way around 360 degrees.
- Each side can rotate clockwise and counterclockwise.
- An internal pivot mechanism enables each face to turn independently (see video).

– Each side has nine squares, which include four edge squares, four corner squares, and one center square.

– Each center square rotates. However, it will never move to a different side of the cube. This means that the center squares will always be the same in relation to each other:

- Blue will always be opposite Green.
- Orange will always be opposite Red.
- White will always be opposite Yellow.

__Learning the language:__

– When we learn how to solve a RUBIKS Cube, we will use abbreviations for the six sides, also known as notation:

- Front and Back are opposite sides. We use F and B.
- Right and Left are opposite sides. We use R and L.
- Up and Down are opposite sides. We use U and D.
- To avoid confusion, we use Up and Down,
Top and Bottom.*not*

– Choose two colors to be the Up face and the Front face. For the purposes of this guide, the Up face will be Yellow and the Front face will be Red. This will be the Start Position. Setting the Start Position is very important because it is very easy to get confused and lose track of the RUBIKS Cube.

– Remember, the center squares will always be the same! If you scramble your RUBIKS Cube and become lost and confused, just look at the center squares. The Yellow center square will be the Up face and the Red center square will be the Front face.

– Each notation represents one, clockwise rotation 90 degrees of that face (one quarter turn). Therefore,

- F = rotate Front face 90 degrees clockwise
- B = rotate Back face 90 degrees clockwise, and so on…

– For counterclockwise rotations, the quarter turn is inverted, and a lower-case letter “I” will follow the face notation. Therefore,

- Fi = rotate Front face 90 degrees counterclockwise
- Bi = rotate Back face 90 degrees counterclockwise, and so on…

– Any rotations involving the Front face and the Up face are easy, since Start Position has you looking at those faces. In order to rotate the Back, Down, Right, and Left faces, it can very helpful to look at those faces when you rotate them. Clockwise and counterclockwise rotations are relative to each face *as if you were looking at them.*

__Let’s try it:__

– When practicing each rotations, remember to return the RUBIKS Cube to Start Position.

– Rotate the Up face 90 degrees clockwise (notation is U). It should look like this now:

– Rotate the Up face 90 degrees counterclockwise (notation is Ui). It should look like this now:

– Rotate the Down face 90 degrees clockwise (notation is D). It should look like this now:

– Rotate the Down face 90 degrees counterclockwise (notation is Di). It should look like this now:

– Rotate the Front face 90 degrees clockwise (notation is F). It should look like this now:

– Rotate the Front face 90 degrees counterclockwise (notation is Fi). It should look like this now:

– Rotate the Back face 90 degrees clockwise (notation is B). It should look like this now:

– Rotate the Back face 90 degrees counterclockwise (notation is Bi). It should look like this now:

– Rotate the Right face 90 degrees clockwise (notation is R). It should look like this now:

– Rotate the Right face 90 degrees counterclockwise (notation is Ri). It should look like this now:

– Rotate the Left face 90 degrees clockwise (notation is L). It should look like this now:

– Rotate the Left face 90 degrees counterclockwise (notation is Li). It should look like this now:

__Additional resources__:

– Official website is https://www.rubiks.com/en-us/

– Practice using this handy online simulator! https://ruwix.com/online-puzzle-simulators/