Meet professional speed cuber Sam Richard at LSC on Sunday, March 28

Beyond Rubik's Cube

This Sunday, March 28, you’re invited to meet professional speed cuber Sam Richard at Liberty Science Center!

On this day, Sam will be in Beyond Rubik’s Cube from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm as a Rubik’s Brand Ambassador. He will help guests solve the cube, share tips and tricks, and provide a unique insight into the professional world of speed cubing.

Sam was born without the corpus callosum – the centerpiece of the brain that connects both the left and right hemisphere. He attributes the Rubik’s Cube to changing his life in many ways, including better grades in school, a stronger mind, stronger muscles, and more logical thoughts. He is the only known cuber with this condition.

We caught up with Sam in the days leading up to his LSC visit. Check out our interview below, and click here to get tickets now for March 28 so you can meet Sam!

Professional speed cuber Sam Richard

Liberty Science Center: What initially drew you to the Rubik’s Cube?

Sam Richard: I had met a new friend at a local camp where he could solve the Rubik's Cube in 15 seconds. Once I witnessed his incredible feat, I told myself "If he can, I can." That summer in 2009 I got a book and set forth to learn how to solve the Rubik's Cube.

LSC: You’ve said the Rubik’s Cube has changed your life. Just to name a few examples: better grades, a stronger mind, and stronger muscles. Can you explain how, exactly, the cube has helped you with these things?

SR: Yes, the Rubik’s Cube has changed my life in many ways.

It has helped me to gain better grades when I was in high school by teaching me how to study and correct my errors for the times I had to take tests; it produced an ability to understand the context clues in the questions.

The Rubik's Cube also gave me a stronger mind regarding mental fatigue. I was always tired when it came to memorizing for academic purposes. Due to the interest in wanting to get faster at solving the Rubik's Cube, the Rubik's Cube helped me to gain stronger muscles; not actual physical strength. I got stronger muscles by mental strength from my brain's controlling of my muscles. Due to a brain disorder, a symptom is that I have low muscle tone in which the Rubik's Cube helped to reconnect that tone for daily living.

LSC: Do you have a particularly happy memory of when you realized the cube had changed your life for the better?

SR: Almost six years ago in the summer of 2015, I gave a seminar on Overcoming Obstacles at the World Cube Association USA Nationals Rubik's Cube Competition. When I concluded my presentation, I was overcome with emotion from receiving a standing ovation. From this moment on I realized what my driven purpose was to do with the Rubik's Cube. A close friend invited me into her middle school classroom to share and present all about the Rubik's Cube to her students. With the presentations that I give, I am grateful that it keeps growing my passion to share the Rubik's Cube in many ways with knowledge, videos, solving demonstrations, and mathematical facts about the Rubik's Cube.

I now give presentations to my local school district, schools that I can travel to as requested by staff/friends, and I can give presentations by Zoom and Skype.

LSC: What achievements do you still hope to accomplish in your speed cubing career?

SR: As a speed cuber, I hope to achieve an average time of 15 seconds to solve the Rubik's Cube. I currently average 30 seconds.

My dad has once told me that, had I not have a disability, I could be averaging up with the elite speed cubers at an average of 8 seconds. The question is, had I not have a disability would I have found an interest in the Rubik's Cube? Most likely not.

As I teach on how to solve the Rubik's Cube, knowing I am slow compared to my fast competitive peers, my goal is to have my students achieve a faster average time than my 30 seconds. Teachers always want their students to become better than themselves.

LSC: What advice do you have for anyone who’s just starting out with the Rubik’s Cube?

SR: To a new beginner at solving the Rubik's Cube, I would tell them to not be overwhelmed and keep the cube in one orientation and use that orienting guidance to each face of the Rubik's Cube. Look at the cube piece by piece and not as a whole.

Everyone has the fullest ability to learn and conquer a solve. When I teach kids and adults how to solve the Rubik's Cube, I ask my students what their interests are and get them to apply the Rubik's Cube to those interests. I help my students to discover what Algorithms are and what Algorithms they unknowingly use in their daily routines. An Algorithm is a process of notational units linked together creating a form of a sequence of planned movement leading to the solution to a problem.

LSC: We can’t wait for you to join us at Liberty Science Center on March 28! What are you most looking forward to about this day?

SR: As a Rubik's Brand Ambassador, I am looking forward to sharing my story with all the guests who come to visit the exhibition. I will be there to intrigue the guests and spark in them a true interest to learn how to solve the Rubik's Cube. I want to help them conquer a solution and be a solver of tomorrow's problems and questions. I want to take them beyond their ability as I went beyond my ability. I want to have the guests realize that in my story, if I can, so can they also have the ability to solve a Rubik's Cube.

We can’t wait! Click here to get tickets now for Sunday, March 28.

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