Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for
practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
Each of these solids is made up with 3 squares and a triangle around each vertex. Each has a total of 18 square faces and 8 faces that are equilateral triangles. How many faces, edges and vertices. . . .
Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two
people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and
diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we
In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make
shapes with line symmetry?
An equilateral triangle is sitting on top of a square.
What is the radius of the circle that circumscribes this shape?
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?
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?
This resources contains a series of interactivities designed to
support work on transformations at Key Stage 4.
The ten arcs forming the edges of the "holly leaf" are all arcs of
circles of radius 1 cm. Find the length of the perimeter of the
holly leaf and the area of its surface.
Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?
These images are taken from the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.
Can you work out the basic unit that makes up each pattern? Can you
continue the pattern? Can you see any similarities and. . . .
Can all but one square of an 8 by 8 Chessboard be covered by
Using the 8 dominoes make a square where each of the columns and rows adds up to 8
Look carefully at the video of a tangle and explain what's
Here is a chance to create some Celtic knots and explore the mathematics behind them.
Here is a chance to create some attractive images by rotating
shapes through multiples of 90 degrees, or 30 degrees, or 72
Create a symmetrical fabric design based on a flower motif - and realise it in Logo.
Scheduling games is a little more challenging than one might desire. Here are some tournament formats that sport schedulers use.
Can you describe what happens in this film?
Proofs that there are only seven frieze patterns involve complicated group theory. The symmetries of a cylinder provide an easier approach.
A red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .
Some local pupils lost a geometric opportunity recently as they surveyed the cars in the car park. Did you know that car tyres, and the wheels that they on, are a rich source of geometry?
When a strip has vertical symmetry there always seems to be a
second place where a mirror line could go. Perhaps you can find a
design that has only one mirror line across it. Or, if you thought
that. . . .
Given that ABCD is a square, M is the mid point of AD and CP is perpendicular to MB with P on MB, prove DP = DC.
Each of the following shapes is made from arcs of a circle of radius r. What is the perimeter of a shape with 3, 4, 5 and n "nodes".
A design is repeated endlessly along a line - rather like a stream
of paper coming off a roll. Make a strip that matches itself after
rotation, or after reflection
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
I noticed this about streamers that have rotation symmetry : if
there was one centre of rotation there always seems to be a second
centre that also worked. Can you find a design that has only. . . .
Points off a rolling wheel make traces. What makes those traces
Plex lets you specify a mapping between points and their images.
Then you can draw and see the transformed image.
An article for students and teachers on symmetry and square dancing. What do the symmetries of the square have to do with a dos-e-dos or a swing? Find out more?
A gallery of beautiful photos of cast ironwork friezes in Australia with a mathematical discussion of the classification of frieze patterns.