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?
For any right-angled triangle find the radii of the three escribed
circles touching the sides of the triangle externally.
Imagine a rectangular tray lying flat on a table. Suppose that a plate lies on the tray and rolls around, in contact with the sides as it rolls. What can we say about the motion?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
Find the ratio of the outer shaded area to the inner area for a six
pointed star and an eight pointed star.
A right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point
of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the
square covered by the triangle as it rotates?
A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a
room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest
distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?
A ribbon runs around a box so that it makes a complete loop with two parallel pieces of ribbon on the top. How long will the ribbon be?
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?
Small circles nestle under touching parent circles when they sit on
the axis at neighbouring points in a Farey sequence.
A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between
them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite
It is known that the area of the largest equilateral triangular
section of a cube is 140sq cm. What is the side length of the cube?
The distances between the centres of two adjacent faces of. . . .
A blue coin rolls round two yellow coins which touch. The coins are
the same size. How many revolutions does the blue coin make when it
rolls all the way round the yellow coins? Investigate for a. . . .
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.
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds
leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each
other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return,
400. . . .
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. . . .
The net of a cube is to be cut from a sheet of card 100 cm square.
What is the maximum volume cube that can be made from a single
piece of card?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
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.
P is a point on the circumference of a circle radius r which rolls,
without slipping, inside a circle of radius 2r. What is the locus
Have you got the Mach knack? Discover the mathematics behind
exceeding the sound barrier.
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces
of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had
no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Consider a watch face which has identical hands and identical marks
for the hours. It is opposite to a mirror. When is the time as read
direct and in the mirror exactly the same between 6 and 7?
An introduction to bond angle geometry.
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller
circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
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?
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.
Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?
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
Mike and Monisha meet at the race track, which is 400m round. Just to make a point, Mike runs anticlockwise whilst Monisha runs clockwise. Where will they meet on their way around and will they ever. . . .
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
On the 3D grid a strange (and deadly) animal is lurking. Using the tracking system can you locate this creature as quickly as possible?
A box of size a cm by b cm by c cm is to be wrapped with a square piece of wrapping paper. Without cutting the paper what is the smallest square this can be?
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!
Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
A square of area 3 square units cannot be drawn on a 2D grid so that each of its vertices have integer coordinates, but can it be drawn on a 3D grid? Investigate squares that can be drawn.
Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is
covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom
right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .
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 efficiently can various flat shapes be fitted together?
Use the diagram to investigate the classical Pythagorean means.