Goddard whiz kids zoom past Rubik’s Cube competitors


GODDARD, Kan. (KSNW) – A group of Goddard students is wowing the Rubik’s Cube world.

Challenger Intermediate School’s Rubik’s Cube team recently competed in a Rubik’s Cube competition in Maize.

“The team that beat us at that competition was from a different state, so technically we are first place in Kansas,” said team coach and Challenger Intermediate School gifted teacher Kylie Rush.

The team, consisting of eight then-6th graders, were up against 6th, 7th and 8th grade teams from across the country. They solved 25 Rubik’s Cubes in 4 minutes and 19 seconds.

“Being state champions is a milestone, ” said Alex Carpenter, 12.

“It’s a confidence booster and it’s really cool to tell people like ‘oh, we did this,'” said Blake Door, 11.

“I think we were all happy with it, seeing that we were number one in the state and other people had to come to beat us,” said Landon Hinds, 12.

“What it means to me is that being able to learn something can actually reward you in a way to where you can make new friends and get a confidence booster,” said Gregory Gladkowski, 12.

The Rubik’s Cube Team poses for a picture at the competition. Courtesy: Goddard Public Schools.

All of the team members are part of the gifted learning program in Goddard. A majority of them had never completed a Rubik’s Cube before 2019.

“I had the resources so we were able to order a set, just to practice and so many enjoyed it, so I thought it would be a good idea to try it out,” said Rush.

Practice began in February. Some of the students learned how to solve the Rubik’s Cube from pamphlets or guides while others figured it out by watching YouTube videos.

“It was pretty tough until I found one of the guides. It taught me the algorithms to solve the cube and it just taught me to do it, finish it,” said Brenton Wells, 11.

“It was relieving, like I finally did it after trying,” Hinds said.

“I was at home and I had finally done it with no help, no papers, no nothing and it was like I had hit a milestone in my learning career,” Carpenter said.

Most of the team members can now solve a Rubik’s Cube in about 60 seconds. One student can do it in less than 40 seconds.

“My goal is average of under 20 seconds,” said Nolan Bush, 12.

The students told KSN Rubik’s Cubes have taught them how to overcome obstacles as individuals and as a team.

“I have learned to push through a challenge, no matter how hard it is, try your best and don’t give up,” Wells said.

“Just try your best. Don’t quit,” Bush said.

“Perseverance, just keep trying until you get it,” Hinds said.

It’s unclear when the team will compete in another competition. However, they told KSN they are prepared to defend their state title.

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