Schools From 5 States Compete in First-Ever Rubik's Cube Tournament on National Mall

World-Famous Puzzle Inventor Erno Rubik to Make Rare Public Appearance in Celebration of "You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube" In-School Program at USA Science & Engineering Festival

Oct 21, 2010, 09:27 ET from You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Teams of students, narrowed down from over 40 area schools in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, will compete in the first-ever You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube tournament on the National Mall during the USA Science & Engineering Festival this Saturday.  As part of the competition, each team will be challenged to solve 25 Rubik's Cubes collectively in the fastest amount of time.  Winning teams will receive educational grants of up to $1,000 for STEM initiatives.

Thirty years after its inception as a teaching instrument by Hungarian inventor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik, the iconic Rubik's Cube lives on as an important classroom tool to teach fundamental geometry and algebra concepts, including area, perimeter, and volume.  As part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival, Professor Rubik will be in attendance at the You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube tournament – his first public appearance at a student competition in more than two decades – following which, he'll receive an award for Outstanding Contributions to Science Education.  

"I never imagined the Cube to endure 30 years of fascination.  We turn the Cube and it twists us and challenges us, which is one of the timeless reasons we gravitate toward it," said Professor Erno Rubik, inventor of the iconic Rubik's Cube puzzle, "While we may not be cognizant of the process, it fosters life lessons such as problem-solving and the rewards of persistent curiosity."

Designed to foster life lessons such as problem-solving and logical thinking, the You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube program provides teachers fun, hands-on educational activities that are aligned with national and state curriculum frameworks, major math text books, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and support STEM disciplines.  Currently, over 1,600 schools and hundreds of afterschool programs nationwide are enrolled in the You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube program – and in all 50 states.  

"This inaugural science festival for our nation is unique because it appeals to a large, diverse audience of all ages and backgrounds, from science enthusiasts to the merely curious.  It takes something as seemingly every day as the Rubik's Cube puzzle, and highlights the technical sophistication in tangible and relevant ways," said Larry Bock, executive director of the USA Science & Engineering Festival.  "We will not only be celebrating the achievements of these amazing students, but also those of Professor Erno Rubik, who made it possible to teach math and life skills with such a dynamic puzzle."

The You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube tournament will begin at 1:00 p.m. EDT on the National Mall.  At 3:30 p.m. EDT, Professor Erno Rubik will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the USA Science Engineering Festival.  The festivities will conclude with a student award ceremony, at which Professor Rubik will present educational grants to the winning teams.  

For more information on the You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube program and how to organize a regional tournament, visit www.YouCanDoTheCube.com.  Photos, video, and commentary from the tournament will be shared on Facebook and YouTube.  Details on the USA Science & Engineering Festival can be found at www.usasciencefestival.org.

About You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube

Since its release in 1980, the Rubik's Cube has since found its way into over 350 million homes worldwide and has continued to fascinate, bewilder and challenge millions of people. The new You CAN Do The Rubik's Cube initiative is a U.S. campaign aimed at teaching youth how to solve the Rubik's Cube and experience the many benefits of this accomplishment.  Math lessons have been designed to use the Rubik's Cube to help teachers engage students with an interactive and tangible way to learn the many math disciplines.

Rubik's Cube® is a registered trademark of Seven Towns Ltd.

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