A teacher’s interest in Rubik’s Cube gets students to enjoy math. Teens in Dan Van Der Vieren’s math class are intrigued by the puzzle, which opens up problem solving strategies.
Van Der Vieren sees the classic puzzle as a way to unlock student potential. He has long been fascinated with the cube which was first sold in the 1970s, and wrote his undergraduate thesis on it.
“I’ve been collecting Rubik’s cubes for a while now,” Van Der Vieren said. “I love puzzles and using my brain to solve them.”
He believes that Rubik’s Cubes are good “attention directors” for high school math students, helping them focus. He uses them in as many lessons as possible.
“It gets kids interested because of the puzzle aspect,” he said. “When we were starting, some of the kids said ‘I hate math, I’ll never like math’… but some of them this year—some of them told me today that over their lunch break they went to Walmart to get Rubik’s cubes.”