MEET the fast-fingered Inverclyde schoolboy who could be on track to smash a world Rubik’s cube record.
Twelve-year-old Andrew Stevens can complete the famous puzzle in only 8.2 seconds - just under half a second behind Alexandar Lau, the Rubik’s UK Champion 2016.
Andrew, who is a first year pupil at St Columba’s High in Gourock, has spent the last nine months teaching himself how to solve the puzzle at speed using a specific algorithm.
He is now so advanced that he recently performed at the school’s European evening, where he completed the puzzle while giving at talk about its Hungarian creator Ernő Rubik.
Andrew said: “In February I was at an Inverclyde Schools Concert band rehearsal and I saw someone else solving the Rubik’s Cube.
“When I got home I found an old cube I had which was about seven years old and I spent about 14 hours trying to work it out. After that I just kept going and going. After my first attempt, I decided to go into Glasgow and get a new Rubik’s Cube and once I had it I started to work on my time.
“I managed to get it down to 29 minutes, which was quite a big improvement from the 14 hours, then in June, I got my time down to 56 seconds. I kept practising every day.”
Andrew says his family, including mum Louise, dad Christopher and his older brother David, 15, are very supportive of his hobby, and he even took the cube away on holiday during the summer.
He added: “I took it to Austria and that’s when I got my first sub 20 second time.
“After I got back, I got it down to 14 seconds then a few weeks ago I got my best ever time which is 8.2 seconds.
“It was amazing to record that time and I also think that the Rubik’s Cube has improved my memory.”
Now Andrew, from Gourock, wants to bring his time down closer to the current world record.
He added: “Mats Valk from the Netherlands recorded 4.74 seconds which recently broke the former record.
“I’d like to bring my time down closer to the record.”
Emma Donnelly, who is the principal teacher of modern languages at St Columba’s, says Andrew has blown everyone away with his skills.
She said: “It’s phenomenal.
“When he approached me about taking part in the European night, I wondered how it would tie in with the theme.
“We were all blown away when he solved it on stage while giving a talk about the inventor.”