This problem is about investigating whether it is possible to start at one vertex of a platonic solid and visit every other vertex once only returning to the vertex you started at.
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
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 ?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
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?
You have 27 small cubes, 3 each of nine colours. Use the small cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of every colour.
A half-cube is cut into two pieces by a plane through the long diagonal and at right angles to it. Can you draw a net of these pieces? Are they identical?
A bicycle passes along a path and leaves some tracks. Is it
possible to say which track was made by the front wheel and which
by the back wheel?
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.
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be
folded into a cube.
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?
How can you make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper
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?
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?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
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.
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?
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?
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. . . .
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?
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. . . .
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!
A useful visualising exercise which offers opportunities for
discussion and generalising, and which could be used for thinking
about the formulae needed for generating the results on a
A visualisation problem in which you search for vectors which sum
to zero from a jumble of arrows. Will your eyes be quicker than
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
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?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and
reasoning to agree a final product.
In the game of Noughts and Crosses there are 8 distinct winning
lines. How many distinct winning lines are there in a game played
on a 3 by 3 by 3 board, with 27 cells?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small
cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?
Generate three random numbers to determine the side lengths of a triangle. What triangles can you draw?
A and C are the opposite vertices of a square ABCD, and have
coordinates (a,b) and (c,d), respectively. What are the coordinates
of the vertices B and D? What is the area of the square?
Can you mentally fit the 7 SOMA pieces together to make a cube? Can
you do it in more than one way?
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. . . .
When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we
An introduction to bond angle geometry.
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. . . .
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
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.
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a
pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow
paint on their faces?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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?
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?
Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
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?