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?
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 spreadsheet.
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. . . .
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?
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be folded into a cube.
When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we didn't...?
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 article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .
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!
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .
Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
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?
Can you use small coloured cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of each colour?
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.
How can we as teachers begin to introduce 3D ideas to young children? Where do they start? How can we lay the foundations for a later enthusiasm for working in three dimensions?
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?
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. . . .
How can you change the surface area of a cuboid but keep its volume the same? How can you change the volume but keep the surface area the same?
There are thirteen axes of rotational symmetry of a unit cube. Describe them all. What is the average length of the parts of the axes of symmetry which lie inside the cube?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
A description of how to make the five Platonic solids out of paper.