Investigations and activities for you to enjoy on pattern in
On a "move" a stone is removed from two of the circles and placed
in the third circle. Here are five of the ways that 27 stones could
When is a knot invertible ?
There are three tables in a room with blocks of chocolate on each. Where would be the best place for each child in the class to sit if they came in one at a time?
How much energy has gone into warming the planet?
Some of our more advanced investigations
Can you find some Pythagorean Triples where the two smaller numbers differ by 1?
What's the chance of a pair of lists of numbers having sample
correlation exactly equal to zero?
Work out the numerical values for these physical quantities.
Explore the properties of combinations of trig functions in this open investigation.
Work with numbers big and small to estimate and calculate various quantities in biological contexts.
Investigate constructible images which contain rational areas.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
Formulate and investigate a simple mathematical model for the design of a table mat.
Could nanotechnology be used to see if an artery is blocked? Or is this just science fiction?
Get some practice using big and small numbers in chemistry.
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
Work with numbers big and small to estimate and calculate various quantities in physical contexts.
In which Olympic event does a human travel fastest? Decide which events to include in your Alternative Record Book.
An introduction to a useful tool to check the validity of an equation.
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?
Take ten sticks in heaps any way you like. Make a new heap using
one from each of the heaps. By repeating that process could the
arrangement 7 - 1 - 1 - 1 ever turn up, except by starting with it?
In this investigation, we look at Pascal's Triangle in a slightly different way - rotated and with the top line of ones taken off.
This article (the first of two) contains ideas for investigations.
Space-time, the curvature of space and topology are introduced with
some fascinating problems to explore.
How much peel does an apple have?
All types of mathematical problems serve a useful purpose in
mathematics teaching, but different types of problem will achieve
different learning objectives. In generalmore open-ended problems
have. . . .
Two perpendicular lines lie across each other and the end points
are joined to form a quadrilateral. Eight ratios are defined, three
are given but five need to be found.
Two polygons fit together so that the exterior angle at each end of
their shared side is 81 degrees. If both shapes now have to be
regular could the angle still be 81 degrees?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
In a snooker game the brown ball was on the lip of the pocket but
it could not be hit directly as the black ball was in the way. How
could it be potted by playing the white ball off a cushion?
Numbers arranged in a square but some exceptional spatial awareness probably needed.
A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
What shapes should Elly cut out to make a witch's hat? How can she make a taller hat?
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. . . .
The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a
triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word
ABACUS from this triangular pattern?
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.
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
How will you decide which way of flipping over and/or turning the grid will give you the highest total?
Take any pair of numbers, say 9 and 14. Take the larger number,
fourteen, and count up in 14s. Then divide each of those values by
the 9, and look at the remainders.
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?
Explore one of these five pictures.
A description of some experiments in which you can make discoveries about triangles.
In this article for teachers, Bernard gives an example of taking an
initial activity and getting questions going that lead to other
Where we follow twizzles to places that no number has been before.
Is it really greener to go on the bus, or to buy local?
An introduction to bond angle geometry.
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
Where should runners start the 200m race so that they have all run the same distance by the finish?
Use trigonometry to determine whether solar eclipses on earth can be perfect.