Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What
movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of
procedures will help - variables not essential.
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
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?
How can you make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper
This article explores ths history of theories about the shape of our planet. It is the first in a series of articles looking at the significance of geometric shapes in the history of astronomy.
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
The second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.
Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an
unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can
you make? Convince us you have found them all.
Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the
information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will
happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?
Can you explain why it is impossible to construct this triangle?
Can you cut up a square in the way shown and make the pieces into a
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?
Which hexagons tessellate?
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?
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there
cannot be more than three acute angles.
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.
You have 27 small cubes, 3 each of nine colours. Use the small cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of every colour.
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
The reader is invited to investigate changes (or permutations) in the ringing of church bells, illustrated by braid diagrams showing the order in which the bells are rung.
This article is based on some of the ideas that emerged during the production of a book which takes visualising as its focus. We began to identify problems which helped us to take a structured view. . . .
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
Billy's class had a robot called Fred who could draw with chalk
held underneath him. What shapes did the pupils make Fred draw?
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or
A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret
the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will
be produced using different wheels?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do
you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which
bell to ring?
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and
reasoning to agree a final product.
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?
Have a look at what happens when you pull a reef knot and a granny
knot tight. Which do you think is best for securing things
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
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.
Here are four tiles. They can be arranged in a 2 by 2 square so that this large square has a green edge. If the tiles are moved around, we can make a 2 by 2 square with a blue edge... Now try to. . . .
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. . . .
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
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 Mai Ling and Chi Wing?
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?