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Scholastic MATH > NUMBERS IN THE NEWS

Welcome to MATH Magazine’s Numbers in the News! Each week we'll post a math question based on a current news story. Read and solve the question.

If you like, enter your answer in the Comments section. The first person to answer the question correctly has the honor of being our “Winner of the Week.” (We’ll reveal that person, and the correct answer, in that question’s Comments the following week.)

What are you waiting for? Start solving!

### Cubing Rubik

Next month is MATH Magazine's 30th anniversary. Also turning 30 this year is Rubik’s Cube, the popular toy with nine colored squares on each of its six sides. The goal is to move those squares around so that each side is a solid color.

There are 43 quintillion different starting positions for the different squares. (And a quintillion is a billion billions, so that's a huge number!) But last week, a team of mathematicians announced that they had figured out—with help from Google's powerful computers—the maximum number of moves to solve the Cube, regardless of how mixed up the colors are.

The answer? Only 20 moves or less! Every time!

We won't ask you to solve Rubik's Cube. But find its volume. The length of each side is 5.7 centimeters.