The second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.

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.

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?

Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo lives?

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?

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?

Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.

See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.

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.

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. . . .

What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?

A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.

In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?

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?

Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.

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?

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 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?

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?

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

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 moves.

On a clock the three hands - the second, minute and hour hands - are on the same axis. How often in a 24 hour day will the second hand be parallel to either of the two other hands?

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 again?

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.

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.

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?

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?

Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?

What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?

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?

Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?

Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?

This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.

Take a line segment of length 1. Remove the middle third. Remove the middle thirds of what you have left. Repeat infinitely many times, and you have the Cantor Set. Can you picture it?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?

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 watering can and man in a boat?

Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

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?

Generate three random numbers to determine the side lengths of a triangle. What triangles can you draw?

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.

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?