This problem requires students to visualise, work systematically, and develop good representations.
The engaging nature of this trick means that students are often prepared to persevere on this task. It may offer a chance to nurture a sense of resilience amongst your students.
As well as offering students practice in constructing triangles, this problem leads to geometrical insights into the triangle inequality.
This problem encourages students to look at the structure of several symmetric patterns and explain how to generate rules for finding the number of colours required.