Is it possible to remove ten unit cubes from a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made from 27 unit cubes so that the surface area of the remaining solid is the same as the surface area of the original 3 by 3 by 3. . . .
A useful visualising exercise which offers opportunities for
discussion and generalising, and which could be used for thinking
about the formulae needed for generating the results on a
Each of the nets of nine solid shapes has been cut into two pieces. Can you see which pieces go together?
In the game of Noughts and Crosses there are 8 distinct winning
lines. How many distinct winning lines are there in a game played
on a 3 by 3 by 3 board, with 27 cells?
A game has a special dice with a colour spot on each face. These three pictures show different views of the same dice. What colour is opposite blue?
Can you use small coloured cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of each colour?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
This problem is about investigating whether it is possible to start at one vertex of a platonic solid and visit every other vertex once only returning to the vertex you started at.
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to
wrap it so that it is completely covered.
Imagine you are suspending a cube from one vertex (corner) and
allowing it to hang freely. Now imagine you are lowering it into
water until it is exactly half submerged. What shape does the
surface. . . .
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be
folded into a cube.
Can you arrange the shapes in a chain so that each one shares a
face (or faces) that are the same shape as the one that follows it?
Here are the six faces of a cube - in no particular order. Here are
three views of the cube. Can you deduce where the faces are in
relation to each other and record them on the net of this cube?
A 3x3x3 cube may be reduced to unit cubes in six saw cuts. If after
every cut you can rearrange the pieces before cutting straight
through, can you do it in fewer?
Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?
One face of a regular tetrahedron is painted blue and each of the
remaining faces are painted using one of the colours red, green or
yellow. How many different possibilities are there?
A half-cube is cut into two pieces by a plane through the long diagonal and at right angles to it. Can you draw a net of these pieces? Are they identical?
Can you make a 3x3 cube with these shapes made from small cubes?
Imagine a 4 by 4 by 4 cube. If you and a friend drill holes in some of the small cubes in the ways described, how many will not have holes drilled through them?
This problem invites you to build 3D shapes using two different
triangles. Can you make the shapes from the pictures?
Imagine a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made of 9 small cubes. Each face of the large cube is painted a different colour. How many small cubes will have two painted faces? Where are they?
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now
it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know
when it is your turn to ring?
An extension of noughts and crosses in which the grid is enlarged
and the length of the winning line can to altered to 3, 4 or 5.
On which of these shapes can you trace a path along all of its
edges, without going over any edge twice?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
Reasoning about the number of matches needed to build squares that
share their sides.
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?
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
Can you cut a regular hexagon into two pieces to make a
parallelogram? Try cutting it into three pieces to make a rhombus!
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles.
Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4,
5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Where can you put the mirror across the square so that you can still "see" the whole square? How many different positions are possible?
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are
outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
How can the same pieces of the tangram make this bowl before and after it was chipped? Use the interactivity to try and work out what is going on!
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical
ABCD is a regular tetrahedron and the points P, Q, R and S are the midpoints of the edges AB, BD, CD and CA. Prove that PQRS is a square.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
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.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
This article for teachers describes a project which explores
thepower of storytelling to convey concepts and ideas to children.