Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube
using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many
different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can
this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover
an eight by eight chessboard?
How many ways can you write the word EUROMATHS by starting at the
top left hand corner and taking the next letter by stepping one
step down or one step to the right in a 5x5 array?
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be
removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to
remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard
that has nine pegs?
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.
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be
placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals
have an even number of red counters?
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?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
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.
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
Given a 2 by 2 by 2 skeletal cube with one route `down' the cube.
How many routes are there from A to B?
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There
are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where
are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
A toy has a regular tetrahedron, a cube and a base with triangular
and square hollows. If you fit a shape into the correct hollow a
bell rings. How many times does the bell ring in a complete game?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep
truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4
respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard
dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles
together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can
be fitted together?
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?
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?
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 see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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!
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to
make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold
How many different ways can I lay 10 paving slabs, each 2 foot by 1
foot, to make a path 2 foot wide and 10 foot long from my back door
into my garden, without cutting any of the paving slabs?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and
ends with 100. Can you build it up?
A and B are two interlocking cogwheels having p teeth and q teeth respectively. One tooth on B is painted red. Find the values of p and q for which the red tooth on B contacts every gap on the. . . .
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes.
If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you
picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
An activity centred around observations of dots and how we visualise number arrangement patterns.
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?
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two
different distances between them?
Draw a pentagon with all the diagonals. This is called a pentagram.
How many diagonals are there? How many diagonals are there in a
hexagram, heptagram, ... Does any pattern occur when looking at. . . .
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Granma T?
ABCDEFGH is a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. Point P is 1/3 along AB (that is AP
: PB = 1 : 2), point Q is 1/3 along GH and point R is 1/3 along ED.
What is the area of the triangle PQR?
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?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
This article for teachers describes a project which explores
thepower of storytelling to convey concepts and ideas to children.