In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
Use your mouse to move the red and green parts of this disc. Can
you make images which show the turnings described?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from
interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the
models together then compare your constructions.
What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of
the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other
shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets
do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you
move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up
with the same arrangement?
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are
you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of
sticks that make the most triangles?
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns
with two different types of triangle. You could even try
We went to the cinema and decided to buy some bags of popcorn so we
asked about the prices. Investigate how much popcorn each bag holds
so find out which we might have bought.
Explore the triangles that can be made with seven sticks of the
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a
go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating
shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
In this article for teachers, Bernard gives an example of taking an
initial activity and getting questions going that lead to other
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds.
What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to
another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number
and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
These pictures show squares split into halves. Can you find other ways?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame
without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you
try the other shapes?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
Investigate the number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many
different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and
the 2 must not touch the table?
We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we
can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?
Sort the houses in my street into different groups. Can you do it in any other ways?
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create
your own repeating pattern?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4
units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different
cuboids can you make?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the
outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you
find for me to take?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
Vincent and Tara are making triangles with the class construction set. They have a pile of strips of different lengths. How many different triangles can they make?
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If
the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which
stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and
multiply them together. How many different products can you find?
How do you know you've got them all?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
Numbers arranged in a square but some exceptional spatial awareness probably needed.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
This problem is intended to get children to look really hard at something they will see many times in the next few months.
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?