An Educator’s Guide to Augment Learning with Merge Cube

Along with Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality is quickly becoming popular in the classroom. One of the most popular AR experiences right now is the Merge Cube. With a recent hot dollar deal on the Merge Cube at local Walmarts, many teachers caught the craze and bought out entire stocks of this amazing AR tool! But now what? What do you do with all those Merge Cubes in your possession and how can they be useful in the classroom? Let’s dig a little deeper and find out!

What’s in this blog post?

  • What is a Merge Cube?
  • What’s with the recent Merge Cube buying frenzy?
  • Photo slideshow & list of apps for the Merge Cube
  • A FREE “Augment Learning with Merge Cube” printable poster!
  • Classroom integration ideas for the Merge Cube
  • How to setup Merge Cubes in your classroom
  • External links for Merge Cube
  • Updates will be added to this post as new information and apps are released!


What is a Merge Cube?

The Merge Cube is described by it’s developer as “The hologram you hold in your hand.” It’s a foam cube with different designs on each side. When held in front of your device’s camera while using a variety of Merge Cube apps the cube is transformed into digital 3D objects and scenes. You can move and rotate the cube in your hand to see things from different angles. It’s a truly amazing experience!




The Recent Merge Cube Buying Frenzy!

On February 10, Brian Costello, one of the members of the Voxer ARVRinEDU Group, mentioned that he got a few Merge Cubes at his local Walmart for $5.00 each. That was practically a steal from it’s usual price of $15.00. I hurried over to my own Walmart and found the same great deal so I bought 4, then I rushed over to another nearby Walmart and bought 6 more! A couple of days later, Brian found them at a much lower price of $1.00! ONE DOLLAR for a Merge Cube was the deal of a life time and thus began the Merge Cube Buying Frenzy! My Facebook, Voxer group, and Twitter feeds were blowing up with fellow educators raiding their local Walmarts and buying them out. One teacher found 130 Merge Cubes and bought them all! See below for a slideshow of teachers showing off their Merge Cube stashes.

Teachers love a great deal! If you want to see what’s available in your area visit this inventory checker site. We definitely can’t resist when something drops from $15.00 to $1.00 even if we’re not quite sure what a Merge Cube does or how we might use it in the classroom. Well, I’ve a got few ideas after exploring the apps that are available!

Join this amazing group of ARVRinEDU educators on Voxer!

ARVRinEDU Voxer Group


Apps for the Merge Cube

Check out these screenshots from a variety of apps currently available for the Merge Cube on iOS.


Apps available for Merge:

(F = Free, $ = Paid)

Virtual & Augmented Reality in Education Facebook Group

Join the growing Facebook community!


Bring Augmented Reality into your Students Hands!

Here are some preliminary ideas for using the Merge Cube in the classroom:

  • Galactic Explorer is a great introduction to our solar system! Students can hold and rotate the solar system in their hands while exploring the planets (including Pluto!) and examining and questioning things like rotation, revolution, planet atmospheres, moons, rings and more. Have students share their discoveries and questions using the built in Record feature then share their videos with the rest of the class, experts in the field, and the world!
  • Mr. Body would be a great addition to any health or physical education class! This app is a gentle and simply way to help students learn basic facts about the brain, heart, lungs, liver, stomach, kidneys, pancreas, small and large intestines, and the bladder. This app also has the Record feature built in and would be a perfect tool for capturing learning and questions that can be shared through video.
  • Moment AR by Color Black Moment is a social skills training tool meant for psychologists, therapists, counselors, and other specialists to help support students with identifying feelings, emotions, and social interaction. The app based tool is supported by research. They also have some great ideas for activities with the app and the Merge Cube but I think this tool might also be useful in a language learning class! Students can describe the emotions, colors, characters, actions, and social scenarios while speaking in their practicing language.
  • AnatomyAR+ is another great tool for a health or physical education class with much more detailed graphics, labels, and descriptions. It even includes a beating heart! Students can hold in their hand a real-looking and accurate heart, brain, limbic system, basal nuclei, and lungs.
  • TH!NGS was one of the first apps produce by Merge and offers a collection of different activities. One of them is called Holo Body which provides you with a 3D heart and skull with labeled parts. There is also a simple Slot Machine. Could students calculate the probabilities of triple 7s? Let students explore creative writing by pairing them with the Pokeminion, Octopet, and Pirate Island activities. Each activity in TH!NGS also includes the Record feature! Students can write a story or create a play with their peers and act it out in a recording.
  • 57° North is one of my most favorite Merge Cube apps! It’s an amazing 3D choose-your-own-adventure that includes hundreds of decisions and multiple endings. It was created by Mighty Coconut. What kind of book study might you be able to do with students using a 3D AR story?
  • There are also many Merge Cube puzzle games that would be fun for students to explore during morning routine, recess, and when they finish early with class work. Check out apps like Rubik’s CubeTiltballParty Games, and Snake Attack. One game, Dig, has been described as being able to play Minecraft in the palm of your hand.
  • Develop Apps for Merge Cube! Merge offers their Developer Kit and SDK through their Developer Program. They mentioned on Twitter that they’ve used Unity and Vuforia to create Merge Cubes app. There is so much untapped opportunity with Merge Cube. Wouldn’t it be awesome if your students were the developers of the next round of amazing apps? You can learn more about the Merge Cube Developer Program.

How are you using Merge Cube in your classroom?

Share in the comments below!

Setup Merge Cubes for your Classroom

The retail Merge Cube package comes with several useful items:

  • Merge Cube!
  • Cube case and stand (so you can display it proudly on your desk!)
  • Mobile device stand (extremely useful!)
  • 2 Merge stickers (Swag for students & teachers!)

When you set up a Merge Cube for the first time on your device you will need to use the Activation Code provided inside the Cube Stand and you will need to sign up for a Merge account with an email address.

The Privacy Policy for Merge accounts states “Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 13,” and when you get to step 5 in the setup process you have agree that you are at least 13 years old.

If you are working with students under the age of 13, or if you plan on using your set of Merge Cubes with lots of students in a school or district, I highly recommend using a generic school email account (i.e. for your Merge account. Then moving forward use that one email address to log in to Merge apps on devices that you will use with students.

Merge account is used to save your games and high scores and, as far as I can tell, doesn’t collect any other personally identifiable information.

There are 8 steps when setting up your Merge Cube and Merge account for the first time.

You only need to run through these 8 steps one time on a single device with your first Merge Cube and you technically only need one Activation Code to set this up. Once you’ve gone through this process once in an app all you have to do in the rest of the apps and other devices is SIGN IN with your Merge account and you are good to go.

External Links for Merge Cube

Interested in exploring Virtual and Augmented Reality in Education further? Join the #ARVRinEDU Twitter chat! It’s every Wednesday at 6PM Pacific | 8PM Central | 9PM Eastern | 4 pm Hawaii!

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  • Pingback: Merge Cubes – buy now | Blurts March 3, 2018   Reply →
  • Stacy Campbell March 4, 2018   Reply →

    Thanks for putting this together! I saw the Merge Cube mentioned on the STEM Teacher Tribe FB page and located them at a local WM. I was able to buyout an endcap for our soon-to-be Makerspace! This will be great for our Computer/Media Specialist to see what they have to offer, without me having to explain everything!! You are awesome!

    • Michael Fricano II March 5, 2018   Reply →

      Thanks for stopping by the blog, Stacy! Sounds like you have a great Makerspace in the works!

  • Todd Burleson April 24, 2018   Reply →

    Thank you so much for this. I am eager to learn how students can create for the Merge Cube. I am planning to experiment with having students load their 3d designs in the cube and explore them in AR. This is a well organized and VERY useful post. I will be sharing widely!

  • Bobby May 23, 2018   Reply →

    It’s near impossible to get one of these in our Dallas Fort Worth area after going to every store I could find and hearing at one Walmart a teacher bought all 80 in stock and another Walmart a teacher bought 130both at $2 each so I finally started calling stores on phone. We ended up paying a lot more for two and had to drive half a day to get them. I find it terrible teachers would clean store shelves right out leaving nothing for children to benefit from this educational tool. In our child’s case she chose this as part of her school project but it was near impossible to find.

    • Michael Fricano II May 23, 2018   Reply →

      Hey, Bobby! You can also find the Merge Cubes online at a good price. There are a few sellers on Amazon selling them for $4.

  • Charla July 24, 2018   Reply →

    Can I use merge cube in the language arts classroom? If so How can I set it up?

    • Michael Fricano II September 7, 2018   Reply →

      Hi, Charla! What are your curriculum goals in your LA class? Knowing that might help finding some Merge Cube resources for you.

  • Kat September 6, 2018   Reply →

    Can you use it without a phone?

    • Michael Fricano II September 7, 2018   Reply →

      Hi, Kat!

      The Merge Cube is an augmented reality experience that requires a mobile device or a Chromebook (for some apps).

  • Alexis October 27, 2018   Reply →

    Are there Merge Cube apps that support environmental education?

    • Michael Fricano II November 19, 2018   Reply →

      Hi, Alexis!

      There is a complete list of Merge Cube apps on our Merge Educator page here:

      What exactly are you interested in having a merge cube do for environmental education?

    • Michael Fricano II March 29, 2019   Reply →

      Hi, Alexis!
      I’m not aware of any apps that specifically focus on that topic. But you could use an app like “Dig!” to have students CREATE examples. Or students could use CoSpaces Edu and the Merge Cube add-on to create examples scenes related to Environmental Education. You can learn more about CoSpaces Edu and the Merge Cube add-on here:

  • paulette cinotti October 28, 2018   Reply →

    How can you use them on a chrome book?

  • Jo-Nell Isenhour November 19, 2018   Reply →

    Do you have a guided tutorial or other PD available?

  • Neelam December 12, 2018   Reply →

    How can I share 3-D object uploaded by me on my miniverse profile with students in my class? TIA

    • Michael Fricano II March 29, 2019   Reply →

      Hi, Neelam!

      To share the objects you’ve uploaded to the miniverse with your students you simply have to give them the Object Viewer code that is assigned to that 3D object. The students type in that code in the Object Viewer app on their device to view it on the Merge Cube.

  • Twyla Felty March 26, 2019   Reply →

    The site now says age 16 to create Merge account, and I just received an email from the company saying it was 18. I was told at TCEA that is was age 13, which is honestly was based on the site. I now have an entire group of students in the middle of projects that can create the needed accounts to convert their Tinkercad projects through Object Viewer. Since we have these students in Tinkercad groups through the teacher’s account, we can grab the code for them, but it does affect the ability of many to use this site and the Merge cube.

    • Michael Fricano II March 28, 2019   Reply →

      Hi, Twyla!

      Thank you for your comment. Here is the Merge VR Privacy Policy page from their website:
      See the “Child’s Privacy Policy” section for more information on age requirements and the types of data that the website collects from it’s users. Basically, the site should not be used individually by children under the age of 18 (I confirmed this with Merge VR directly). If you have specific questions about this you can also send an email to They also did say that this will change so that anyone is able to sign up for an account, including those under the age of 18.

      What i would suggest for now is creating a generic classroom account on the website under the control of the teacher. When students are finished with their TinkerCad project they can download the .STL and share it with you, the teacher, then you can upload it to the classroom account. Then give that student their Object Viewer code to use with the app and a Merge Cube.

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