Astronomy grew out of problems that the early civilisations had. They needed to solve problems relating to time and distance - both mathematical topics.
Noticing the regular movement of the Sun and the stars has led to a desire to measure time. This article for teachers and learners looks at the history of man's need to measure things.
Measure problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Not everybody agreed that the Third Millennium actually began on January 1st 2000. Find out why by reading this brief article.
In this version of the story of the hare and the tortoise, the race
is 10 kilometres long. Can you work out how long the hare sleeps
for using the information given?
Nirmala and Riki live 9 kilometres away from the nearest market.
They both want to arrive at the market at exactly noon. What time
should each of them start riding their bikes?
Measure problems for primary learners to work on with others.
Measure problems at primary level that may require determination.
This article for teachers suggests ways in which dinosaurs can be a
great context for discussing measurement.
Measure problems for inquiring primary learners.
Follow the journey taken by this bird and let us know for how long
and in what direction it must fly to return to its starting point.
Can you rank these sets of quantities in order, from smallest to largest? Can you provide convincing evidence for your rankings?
Look at the changes in results on some of the athletics track events at the Olympic Games in 1908 and 1948. Compare the results for 2012.
July 1st 2001 was on a Sunday. July 1st 2002 was on a Monday. When
did July 1st fall on a Monday again?
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
Chandrika was practising a long distance run. Can you work out how
long the race was from the information?
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?
Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find
out how long they take.
A game for two or more players that uses a knowledge of measuring
tools. Spin the spinner and identify which jobs can be done with
the measuring tool shown.
Alice's mum needs to go to each child's house just once and then
back home again. How many different routes are there? Use the
information to find out how long each road is on the route she
My measurements have got all jumbled up! Swap them around and see
if you can find a combination where every measurement is valid.
Two trains set off at the same time from each end of a single
straight railway line. A very fast bee starts off in front of the
first train and flies continuously back and forth between the. . . .
My cousin was 24 years old on Friday April 5th in 1974. On what day
of the week was she born?
Liitle Millennium Man was born on Saturday 1st January 2000 and he will retire on the first Saturday 1st January that occurs after his 60th birthday. How old will he be when he retires?
Calendars were one of the earliest calculating devices developed by civilizations. Find out about the Mayan calendar in this article.
Do you know the rhyme about ten green bottles hanging on a wall? If
the first bottle fell at ten past five and the others fell down at
5 minute intervals, what time would the last bottle fall down?
Mathematics has allowed us now to measure lots of things about eclipses and so calculate exactly when they will happen, where they can be seen from, and what they will look like.
A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.
Use your knowledge of angles to work out how many degrees the hour
and minute hands of a clock travel through in different amounts of
How far have these students walked by the time the teacher's car
reaches them after their bus broke down?
N people visit their friends staying N kilometres along the coast.
Some walk along the cliff path at N km an hour, the rest go by car.
How long is the road?
Two engines, at opposite ends of a single track railway line, set
off towards one another just as a fly, sitting on the front of one
of the engines, sets off flying along the railway line...
Galileo, a famous inventor who lived about 400 years ago, came up
with an idea similar to this for making a time measuring
instrument. Can you turn your pendulum into an accurate minute
What can you say about when these pictures were taken?
Can you place these quantities in order from smallest to largest?
Can you rank these quantities in order? You may need to find out
extra information or perform some experiments to justify your
The pages of my calendar have got mixed up. Can you sort them out?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Read this article to find out the mathematical method for working out what day of the week each particular date fell on back as far as 1700.
This investigation explores using different shapes as the hands of
the clock. What things occur as the the hands move.
Can you put these mixed-up times in order? You could arrange them in a circle.
Can you put these times on the clocks in order? You might like to arrange them in a circle.
These two challenges will test your time-keeping!
This month there is a Friday the thirteenth and this year there are three. Can you explain why every year must contain at least one Friday the thirteenth?
Can you create a story that would describe the movement of the man
shown on these graphs? Use the interactivity to try out our ideas.
Use the clocks to investigate French decimal time in this problem.
Can you see how this time system worked?
Which segment on a digital clock is lit most each day? Which
segment is lit least? Does it make any difference if it is set to
12 hours or 24 hours?
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are
palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework.
After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do
this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?