High school student smiles for his photo wearing glasses and a shirt with a Rubik's Cube on it

Student Spotlight: Conquering the Rubik’s Cube

Tyler Hess can solve a 3×3 Rubik’s Cube in 6.56 seconds. He has memorized over 100 algorithms and has even solved a 21×21 cube. A “cuber” since 2018, Tyler was inspired to get into cubing, or “speedcubing,” which is trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube as fast as possible, after watching another cuber break the 3×3 world record. His dad bought him his first Rubik’s Cube shortly after, and since then, Tyler has been practicing his skills, participating in cubing competitions and making videos for his YouTube channel. On top of all of this, he has been able to stay on track with his schooling thanks to Visions’ unique educational model and flexibility.

“I do school first, then do cubing and recording,” says Tyler. “I like the idea of a school that can be flexible, but still feel like school.”

Check out one of Tyler’s videos!

Competition Cubing

Apart from the difficulty of solving a Rubik’s Cube, there are intricacies to the sport that only cubers would know. High-end cubers can turn the cube at over ten turns per second, meaning they’re unable to use the old, clunky Rubik’s Cubes. Sometimes, they spend up to $80 on the newer cubes, but it’s worth it when it comes to competition time.

“A cubing competition is exactly as it sounds,” explains Tyler. “[It’s] a bunch of cubers doing the same thing as usual, except their times are officially recorded.”

As mentioned, Tyler has participated in a few of these competitions himself. His favorite thing to do is break his previous records, and his most proud is his 6.56 second 3×3 solve.


Tyler’s credentialed teacher, Jennifer Russell, has been able to support his educational plans as he continues to pursue his cubing. This past school year as part of the University Prep program, Tyler participated in a high school co-op and took Spanish at a local community college, some of the options made available through Visions’ dual enrollment and enrichment opportunities.

“I love all the perks at Visions, such as a budget you can use for extracurricular activities,” says Tyler. “I plan to take a math course at community college next year and learn how to play the guitar.”

School, like speedcubing, can be challenging, but with a personalized schedule and individualized education, Tyler has found a way to solve both.