Every day at noon a boat leaves Le Havre for New York while another
boat leaves New York for Le Havre. The ocean crossing takes seven
days. How many boats will each boat cross during their journey?
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes,
two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus
meet on its way from one end to the other end?
At the time of writing the hour and minute hands of my clock are at
right angles. How long will it be before they are at right angles
Anne completes a circuit around a circular track in 40 seconds.
Brenda runs in the opposite direction and meets Anne every 15
seconds. How long does it take Brenda to run around the track?
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock
face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions
differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of
Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times
would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?
A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?
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 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?
Each of the nets of nine solid shapes has been cut into two pieces. Can you see which pieces go together?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
A circle rolls around the outside edge of a square so that its circumference always touches the edge of the square. Can you describe the locus of the centre of the circle?
You have been given three shapes made out of sponge: a sphere, a cylinder and a cone. Your challenge is to find out how to cut them to make different shapes for printing.
In this problem, we have created a pattern from smaller and smaller
squares. If we carried on the pattern forever, what proportion of
the image would be coloured blue?
Reasoning about the number of matches needed to build squares that
share their sides.
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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.
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?
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red
counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the
other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the watering can and man in a boat?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
A game for 2 players. Given a board of dots in a grid pattern, players take turns drawing a line by connecting 2 adjacent dots. Your goal is to complete more squares than your opponent.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable.
Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
A Hamiltonian circuit is a continuous path in a graph that passes through each of the vertices exactly once and returns to the start.
How many Hamiltonian circuits can you find in these graphs?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and
reasoning to agree a final product.
A shape and space game for 2,3 or 4 players. Be the last person to be able to place a pentomino piece on the playing board. Play with card, or on the computer.
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical
In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make
shapes with line symmetry?
The second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand
face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he
had just finished spelling. How did this work?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
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!
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will
not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the
quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
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?
Where can you put the mirror across the square so that you can still "see" the whole square? How many different positions are possible?
The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?
Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?
In a right angled triangular field, three animals are tethered to posts at the midpoint of each side. Each rope is just long enough to allow the animal to reach two adjacent vertices. Only one animal. . . .
Four rods, two of length a and two of length b, are linked to form
a kite. The linkage is moveable so that the angles change. What is
the maximum area of the kite?
The diagram shows a very heavy kitchen cabinet. It cannot be lifted but it can be pivoted around a corner. The task is to move it, without sliding, in a series of turns about the corners so that it. . . .
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which
there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged
to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .