These formulae are often quoted, but rarely proved. In this article, we derive the formulae for the volumes of a square-based pyramid and a cone, using relatively simple mathematical concepts.
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering
the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way
that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
This rectangle is cut into five pieces which fit exactly into a triangular outline and also into a square outline where the triangle, the rectangle and the square have equal areas.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
A game for 2 players that can be played online. Players take it in turns to select a word from the 9 words given. The aim is to select all the occurrences of the same letter.
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
A and B are two interlocking cogwheels having p teeth and q teeth respectively. One tooth on B is painted red. Find the values of p and q for which the red tooth on B contacts every gap on the. . . .
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
You can move the 4 pieces of the jigsaw and fit them into both
outlines. Explain what has happened to the missing one unit of
Can you find all the 4-ball shuffles?
Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do
you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which
bell to ring?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red
counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the
other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
A circle rolls around the outside edge of a square so that its circumference always touches the edge of the square. Can you describe the locus of the centre of the circle?
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
What shaped overlaps can you make with two circles which are the
same size? What shapes are 'left over'? What shapes can you make
when the circles are different sizes?
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases
overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of
his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
A metal puzzle which led to some mathematical questions.
Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players
take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single
pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.
Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the
squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the
button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle
now. . . .
What shape is the overlap when you slide one of these shapes half way across another? Can you picture it in your head? Use the interactivity to check your visualisation.
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now
it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know
when it is your turn to ring?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
An interactive game to be played on your own or with friends.
Imagine you are having a party. Each person takes it in turns to
stand behind the chair where they will get the most chocolate.
Show how this pentagonal tile can be used to tile the plane and
describe the transformations which map this pentagon to its images
in the tiling.
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
Three beads are threaded on a circular wire and are coloured either red or blue. Can you find all four different combinations?
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular
intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th
Use the blue spot to help you move the yellow spot from one star to
the other. How are the trails of the blue and yellow spots related?
Can you make the green spot travel through the tube by moving the
yellow spot? Could you draw a tube that both spots would follow?
A simulation of target archery practice
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Try to stop your opponent from being able to split the piles of counters into unequal numbers. Can you find a strategy?
Use an Excel to investigate division. Explore the relationships
between the process elements using an interactive spreadsheet.
Mo has left, but Meg is still experimenting. Use the interactivity
to help you find out how she can alter her pouch of marbles and
still keep the two pouches balanced.