# Origins

How did this whole crazy idea come to be?

My name is Brian Richardson and I'm a computer science and technology educator in Houston. (This is my 21st year in education. Time flies.) I love what I do and feel that I'm doing what I'm called to do -especially after reading  Marva Collins' Way cover-to-cover as an 11 year old in Baltimore, which is my hometown.

In 2018, I came upon the novel idea of using Rubik's Cubes to teach the concept of algorithms in my computer classes. After all, when you're doing certain twists and combinations of twists, you are just programming the cube to come out certain ways (in sequence) and ultimately having the cube become whole. Once I passed out the cubes, you could feel the fear, angst, and concern among the students. They didn't say it verbally, but you can read their faces. “There's no way I can solve that thing!” “You have to be a super-genius to do it.” “Is Mr. Richardson out of his mind?

A couple of class periods later, students were solving Rubik's Cube -flawlessly. (In fact, 5% of the students who managed to accomplish this feat were labeled as 504/SPED.)

Afterwards, I had the students fill out a Google Form. One of the questions I asked was, “How do you feel now, solving the cube, compared to when you first started learning how to solve the cube?“ These were some of their actual responses:

Proud.

Happy.

I feel smarter.

I feel absolutely ecstatic. I feel like I can do 50 cartwheels
and I don't even know how to do cartwheels. :)))))))))))))))))

I feel amazing.

I feel like I finally achieved something I wouldn't think
I'll be able to solve in my lifetime.

What's the secret? The secret is teaching how to solve a cube in a heavily visual, kinesthetic, and rhythmic manner (which is a way many kids learn), as opposed to rote leaning of symbols like U F' D R, like so many places on the internet teach it. This methodology also creatively uses the music and dance of the Cupid Shuffle!(as well as music from Maxwell, Garth Brooks, Erykah Badu, Kirk Franklin, Earth Wind & Fire, and many other music artist ) to ingrain a four-part movement that is in my estimation approximately 60%(!) of the cube solving process. The concept of making mistakes, and dealing with those mistakes is included in a special manner that does not  discourage but encourages, motivates and pushes kids towards success. Finally, using vivid colorful terms and analogies like 'Quarter Slot Gumball Machine', 'Kick it to the Left', 'Kick it to the Right', 'Mom & Dad had a Baby', 'Righty Dance', and 'Lefty Dance' activate both the right and left sides of a child's brain to make the learning process far more understandable. In short, kids are learning the cube in a humane, exciting, and engaging manner.