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?
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. . . .
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. . . .
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be
folded into a cube.
Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two
different distances between them?
In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make
shapes with line symmetry?
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. . . .
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
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?
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?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
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.
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
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 triangle ABC resting on a horizontal line is "rolled" along the
line. Describe the paths of each of the vertices and the
relationships between them and the original triangle.
A 3x3x3 cube may be reduced to unit cubes in six saw cuts. If after
every cut you can rearrange the pieces before cutting straight
through, can you do it in fewer?
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
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.
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. . . .
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?
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. . . .
Which hexagons tessellate?
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?
Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the
information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
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?
ABC is an equilateral triangle and P is a point in the interior of
the triangle. We know that AP = 3cm and BP = 4cm. Prove that CP
must be less than 10 cm.
Given a 2 by 2 by 2 skeletal cube with one route `down' the cube.
How many routes are there from A to B?
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.
How can you make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper
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. . . .
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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?
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. . . .
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. . . .
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
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. . . .
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 find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with
a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a
layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
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?
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?
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
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?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.