The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
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. . . .
It is possible to dissect any square into smaller squares. What is
the minimum number of squares a 13 by 13 square can be dissected
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of
activities required to develop this thinking.
What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight
from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by
99 square board?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and
reasoning to agree a final product.
Billy's class had a robot called Fred who could draw with chalk
held underneath him. What shapes did the pupils make Fred draw?
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares.
Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
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. . . .
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.
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?
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
Which hexagons tessellate?
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
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 explain why it is impossible to construct this triangle?
Draw all the possible distinct triangles on a 4 x 4 dotty grid.
Convince me that you have all possible triangles.
A group activity using visualisation of squares and triangles.
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be
folded into a cube.
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Use a single sheet of A4 paper and make a cylinder having the greatest possible volume. The cylinder must be closed off by a circle at each end.
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?
A rectangular field has two posts with a ring on top of each post.
There are two quarrelsome goats and plenty of ropes which you can
tie to their collars. How can you secure them so they can't. . . .
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 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 maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9,
12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
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 make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?
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.
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there
cannot be more than three acute angles.
Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The
frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a
jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions
of. . . .
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
You can move the 4 pieces of the jigsaw and fit them into both
outlines. Explain what has happened to the missing one unit of
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
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.
Start with a large square, join the midpoints of its sides, you'll see four right angled triangles. Remove these triangles, a second square is left. Repeat the operation. What happens?
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. . . .
What is the greatest number of squares you can make by overlapping
This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller
circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are
outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
A cylindrical helix is just a spiral on a cylinder, like an ordinary spring or the thread on a bolt. If I turn a left-handed helix over (top to bottom) does it become a right handed helix?
What shape has Harry drawn on this clock face? Can you find its
area? What is the largest number of square tiles that could cover
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?