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‘A lot of work’: Students complete new Rubik’s mosaic

By Hannah Ballenger

For the Enquirer

After hours of work, the newest Rubik’s Cube mosaic is now on display in the front hall of Barkley Bridge Elementary.

The mosaic was created by gifted students in the third and fourth grade under the supervision and direction of gifted specialist Kim Jared.

Jared said the gifted program is designed to present more challenges to students who are more advanced. These students have a three-hour block once a week when they complete additional projects and studies outside of their everyday schoolwork.

The Rubik’s Cube Mosaic Challenge is not a new activity for the school. Jared said they began with one mosaic challenge a year, and it has evolved into one a semester.

“We try to make everything into a teachable moment,” Jared said. “So, the students come up with ideas for the mosaic research about what they choose, and they make slides around the mosaic (display).”

Jared’s students who completed the challenge in the past have won competitions with their creations; however, she said this semester’s project will not go to competition, as the organization hosting the competition has recently undergone some changes.

The students chose NASA as their topic for the mosaic this semester.

“The kids come up with ideas and they vote – we are a STEM school, so we do a lot of stuff with science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Jared said. “Also, our fourth-graders go to space camp this year.”

She said about 68 students who participated in the project in total.

Once a design is decided, they must get the template generated for the mosaic online.

“The students lay the cubes out in sections,” Jared explained. “Then, they use the instructions to complete one cube at a time, following the pattern.”

The mosaic won’t start coming together until the sections are complete.

“This mosaic was 260 cubes,” Jared said. “The number of cubes used is determined by the image.”

Jared said the students’ favorite part about the project was seeing the final result. Jared’s favorite part was watching the students learning to solve each cube.

Victoria Hooper is one of the gifted students who worked on the project. “It was a lot of work,” Hooper said.

The 8- and 9-year-old students finished the project in about 6 weeks, during which they only spent a small amount of time each week working on the project, as Jared said they have other work in her class as well.

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