This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from
interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the
models together then compare your constructions.
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Explore one of these five pictures.
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?
In this article for teachers, Bernard gives an example of taking an
initial activity and getting questions going that lead to other
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
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?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we
can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
This problem is intended to get children to look really hard at something they will see many times in the next few months.
Investigate the number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper
to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create
your own repeating pattern?
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?
The red ring is inside the blue ring in this picture. Can you
rearrange the rings in different ways? Perhaps you can overlap them
or put one outside another?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How
about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you
can predict what will happen.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
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.
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?
Sort the houses in my street into different groups. Can you do it in any other ways?
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!
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.
This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
We think this 3x3 version of the game is often harder than the 5x5 version. Do you agree? If so, why do you think that might be?