A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles
together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can
be fitted together?
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles
using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What
other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
Use the clues about the symmetrical properties of these letters to
place them on the grid.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are
you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of
sticks that make the most triangles?
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be
created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square
lattice paper to record your results.
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep
truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many
different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and
the 2 must not touch the table?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be
placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals
have an even number of red counters?
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there
is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How
about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4
units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different
cuboids can you make?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal
to the area?
You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort
them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we
arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to
make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
Remember that you want someone following behind you to see where
you went. Can yo work out how these patterns were created and
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There
are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where
are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
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 all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
Pentagram Pylons - can you elegantly recreate them? Or, the
European flag in LOGO - what poses the greater problem?