Remember that you want someone following behind you to see where
you went. Can yo work out how these patterns were created and
Pentagram Pylons - can you elegantly recreate them? Or, the
European flag in LOGO - what poses the greater problem?
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it
done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow
Time for a little mathemagic! Choose any five cards from a pack and show four of them to your partner. How can they work out the fifth?
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
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.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
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.
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be
removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to
remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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?
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can
this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover
an eight by eight chessboard?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into
five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the
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?
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?
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that
they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can
you investigate all the different possibilities?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5
grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand
point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
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.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
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
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the
outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you
find for me to take?
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks
and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.