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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Visualising

Tetrahedra Tester

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Cuboids

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?

Hello Again

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Diminishing Returns

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

In this problem, we have created a pattern from smaller and smaller squares. If we carried on the pattern forever, what proportion of the image would be coloured blue?

One Out One Under

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top, put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you predict the last card?

Sliced

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

An irregular tetrahedron has two opposite sides the same length a and the line joining their midpoints is perpendicular to these two edges and is of length b. What is the volume of the tetrahedron?

Platonic Planet

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Glarsynost lives on a planet whose shape is that of a perfect regular dodecahedron. Can you describe the shortest journey she can make to ensure that she will see every part of the planet?

Inside Out

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

There are 27 small cubes in a 3 x 3 x 3 cube, 54 faces being visible at any one time. Is it possible to reorganise these cubes so that by dipping the large cube into a pot of paint three times you. . . .

Instant Insanity

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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.

Bendy Quad

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Four rods are hinged at their ends to form a convex quadrilateral. Investigate the different shapes that the quadrilateral can take. Be patient this problem may be slow to load.

Doesn't Add Up

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

In this problem we are faced with an apparently easy area problem, but it has gone horribly wrong! What happened?

Fermat's Poser

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners) of a given triangle is a minimum.

Sliding Puzzle

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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.

Spotting the Loophole

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

A visualisation problem in which you search for vectors which sum to zero from a jumble of arrows. Will your eyes be quicker than algebra?

Cubic Net

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

This is an interactive net of a Rubik's cube. Twists of the 3D cube become mixes of the squares on the 2D net. Have a play and see how many scrambles you can undo!

Like a Circle in a Spiral

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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?

Steel Cables

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

Charting Success

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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

Wari

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?

Khun Phaen Escapes to Freedom

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.

Jam

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

Picturing Triangle Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

Summing Squares

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?

Hypotenuse Lattice Points

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?

Speeding Boats

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?

Hidden Squares

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?

Around and Back

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .

Clocked

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Triangles in the Middle

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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

Baravelle

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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

Introducing NRICH TWILGO

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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?

Floating in Space

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Two angles ABC and PQR are floating in a box so that AB//PQ and BC//QR. Prove that the two angles are equal.

Isosceles Triangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?

The Perforated Cube

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

A cube is made from smaller cubes, 5 by 5 by 5, then some of those cubes are removed. Can you make the specified shapes, and what is the most and least number of cubes required ?

Ding Dong Bell

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

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.

You Owe Me Five Farthings, Say the Bells of St Martin's

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Cubes Within Cubes

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?

Diagonal Dodge

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Jam

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

Building Tetrahedra

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Can you make a tetrahedron whose faces all have the same perimeter?

Double Trouble

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...

Contact

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

A circular plate rolls in contact with the sides of a rectangular tray. How much of its circumference comes into contact with the sides of the tray when it rolls around one circuit?

LOGO Challenge - Triangles-squares-stars

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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.

Sprouts

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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

Thinking Through, and By, Visualising

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

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. . . .

Star Gazing

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Find the ratio of the outer shaded area to the inner area for a six pointed star and an eight pointed star.

The Cantor Set

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

When the Angles of a Triangle Don't Add up to 180 Degrees

Stage: 4 and 5

This article outlines the underlying axioms of spherical geometry giving a simple proof that the sum of the angles of a triangle on the surface of a unit sphere is equal to pi plus the area of the. . . .

When Will You Pay Me? Say the Bells of Old Bailey

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Corridors

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite corner.