In this article for teachers, Bernard uses some problems to suggest
that once a numerical pattern has been spotted from a practical
starting point, going back to the practical can help explain. . . .
Make a clinometer and use it to help you estimate the heights of
Make a spiral mobile.
Galileo, a famous inventor who lived about 400 years ago, came up
with an idea similar to this for making a time measuring
instrument. Can you turn your pendulum into an accurate minute
Make an equilateral triangle by folding paper and use it to make
patterns of your own.
You could use just coloured pencils and paper to create this
design, but it will be more eye-catching if you can get hold of
hammer, nails and string.
It might seem impossible but it is possible. How can you cut a
playing card to make a hole big enough to walk through?
This article for students gives some instructions about how to make some different braids.
These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you
work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall
and work out a way they might fit together?
This article for pupils gives an introduction to Celtic knotwork
patterns and a feel for how you can draw them.
Follow these instructions to make a three-piece and/or seven-piece
A game to make and play based on the number line.
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
How can you make a curve from straight strips of paper?
Make a ball from triangles!
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Time for a little mathemagic! Choose any five cards from a pack and show four of them to your partner. How can they work out the fifth?
Make a cube with three strips of paper. Colour three faces or use
the numbers 1 to 6 to make a die.
How many differently shaped rectangles can you build using these
equilateral and isosceles triangles? Can you make a square?
Have you noticed that triangles are used in manmade structures?
Perhaps there is a good reason for this? 'Test a Triangle' and see
how rigid triangles are.
Exploring balance and centres of mass can be great fun. The
resulting structures can seem impossible. Here are some images to
encourage you to experiment with non-breakable objects of your own.
How is it possible to predict the card?
Using these kite and dart templates, you could try to recreate part
of Penrose's famous tessellation or design one yourself.
Use the tangram pieces to make our pictures, or to design some of
Make some celtic knot patterns using tiling techniques
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
Make a mobius band and investigate its properties.
Logo helps us to understand gradients of lines and why Muggles Magic is not magic but mathematics. See the problem Muggles magic.
Surprise your friends with this magic square trick.
Have a go at drawing these stars which use six points drawn around
a circle. Perhaps you can create your own designs?
How can you make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper
Did you know mazes tell stories? Find out more about mazes and make
one of your own.
Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every
day in the run-up to Christmas.
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will
happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
It's hard to make a snowflake with six perfect lines of symmetry,
but it's fun to try!
Learn how to draw circles using Logo. Wait a minute! Are they really circles? If not what are they?
What shapes can you make by folding an A4 piece of paper?
More Logo for beginners. Now learn more about the REPEAT command.
Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
Can you puzzle out what sequences these Logo programs will give? Then write your own Logo programs to generate sequences.
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
More Logo for beginners. Learn to calculate exterior angles and draw regular polygons using procedures and variables.
Ideas for practical ways of representing data such as Venn and
What happens when a procedure calls itself?
Kaia is sure that her father has worn a particular tie twice a week
in at least five of the last ten weeks, but her father disagrees.
Who do you think is right?
Write a Logo program, putting in variables, and see the effect when you change the variables.
The triangle ABC is equilateral. The arc AB has centre C, the arc
BC has centre A and the arc CA has centre B. Explain how and why
this shape can roll along between two parallel tracks.
Turn through bigger angles and draw stars with Logo.