This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
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. . . .
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?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.
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?
In this problem we see how many pieces we can cut a cube of cheese into using a limited number of slices. How many pieces will you be able to make?
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?
Takes you through the systematic way in which you can begin to solve a mixed up Cubic Net. How close will you come to a solution?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
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?
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?
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?
Two angles ABC and PQR are floating in a box so that AB//PQ and BC//QR. Prove that the two angles are equal.
A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite corner.
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?
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?
For any right-angled triangle find the radii of the three escribed circles touching the sides of the triangle externally.
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 ?
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. . . .
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?
Find the ratio of the outer shaded area to the inner area for a six pointed star and an eight pointed star.
A triangle PQR, right angled at P, slides on a horizontal floor with Q and R in contact with perpendicular walls. What is the locus of P?
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?
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
Small circles nestle under touching parent circles when they sit on the axis at neighbouring points in a Farey sequence.
Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
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. . . .
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?
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. . . .
Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?
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.
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.
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?
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. . . .
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?
A game for 2 players
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
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!
How efficiently can various flat shapes be fitted together?
On the 3D grid a strange (and deadly) animal is lurking. Using the tracking system can you locate this creature as quickly as possible?
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
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.
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Use the diagram to investigate the classical Pythagorean means.
Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
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?