EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 12, 2012

Timberlane celebrates 12-12-12

Timberlane students celebrate 12-12-12 with cubes

By Alex Lippa
alippa@eagletribune.com

---- — PLAISTOW — It was fun cubed at Timberlane Regional High School yesterday.

Students celebrated Cube Day in honor of the rarity of the date. Dec. 12, 2012 — 12-12-12.

It will be 98 years before it happens again that the same three numbers all appear in a row. Mark the calendar now for Oct. 10, 2110 (10-10-10).

Lorainne Mascioli, a math teacher and co-advisor of the school’s Math Honor Society, decided to link the day with cubes because the three consecutive 12s could also be the length, width and height of a cube.

“I knew that we would have to celebrate it in someway,” Mascioli said. “I just didn’t know how we would do so.”

Mascioli left the planning of the day’s events to senior Caitlynn Marcotte, a Math Honor Society member.

Marcotte decided to have cube-related games set up in the math lab throughout the day and students would compete throughout the day for prizes.

“I wanted to have more of a leadership role in the society,” Marcotte said. “We brainstormed and came up some fun things to celebrate the day.”

Students went to the math lab and tried their best at putting together a Rubik’s cube in an effort to win an iHome, which fittingly is in the shape of a cube. The names of all students who completed the Rubik’s cube were put in a hat and one person went home with the prize.

Junior Kirsten Herchenroder was one of the few able to complete the cube. She said she learned how to solve it by watching a YouTube video several years ago which explained the logic behind the solution.

“I was able to memorize all of the algorithms,” Herchenroder said. “Now, I am able to solve it in under two minutes.”

While that time is impressive, it wasn’t even close to the fastest recorded yesterday. Dan Lascomb finished the cube in a mere 43 seconds.

Other activities in the math lab included sudoku, dice games such as Yahtzee, and guessing the number of Starburst candies in a jar.

Mascioli recruited fellow math teachers to take part in the fun. Students made cubes out of paper, learned the different ways cubes can be folded and reviewed cubic numbers.

Math students weren’t the only ones going cube crazy. Family and consumer science teacher Michele Manti’s students made fruit baskets for the faculty and cut each fruit into small cubic pieces.

“Once I heard about this, I knew we had to get involved,” Manti said. “It was definitely easy enough and all the teachers got a kick out of it.”

The Math Honor Society has celebrated other significant days in the past. Every March 14, the students celebrate Pi Day by baking pies and selling them to raise money for math scholarships. Mascioli likes to involve dates in her lessons and will often give her students math problems related to the date.

“We’re reaching into the student body and getting kids excited for mathematics,” Mascioli said. “Whether it’s for a week, a day or a moment, it’s a way to promote the math lab and let the kids know they can get help if they need it.”