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Broad Topics > Measures and Mensuration > Surface and surface area

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Funnel

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A plastic funnel is used to pour liquids through narrow apertures. What shape funnel would use the least amount of plastic to manufacture for any specific volume ?

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Cola Can

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

An aluminium can contains 330 ml of cola. If the can's diameter is 6 cm what is the can's height?

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Brush Loads

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.

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Cuboids

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?

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The Spider and the Fly

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?

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Painted Cube

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Qqq..cubed

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

It is known that the area of the largest equilateral triangular section of a cube is 140sq cm. What is the side length of the cube? The distances between the centres of two adjacent faces of. . . .

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Tiling Into Slanted Rectangles

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.

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Tiles in the Garden

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?

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Changing Areas, Changing Volumes

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Biology Measurement Challenge

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Analyse these beautiful biological images and attempt to rank them in size order.

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Scientific Measurement

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Practice your skills of measurement and estimation using this interactive measurement tool based around fascinating images from biology.

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Peeling the Apple or the Cone That Lost Its Head

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

How much peel does an apple have?

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All Wrapped Up

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

What is the largest cuboid you can wrap in an A3 sheet of paper?

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Tin Tight

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

What's the most efficient proportion for a 1 litre tin of paint?

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Inside Out

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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. . . .

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All Tied Up

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A ribbon runs around a box so that it makes a complete loop with two parallel pieces of ribbon on the top. How long will the ribbon be?

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When the Angles of a Triangle Don't Add up to 180 Degrees

Stage: 4 and 5

This article outlines the underlying axioms of spherical geometry giving a simple proof that the sum of the angles of a triangle on the surface of a unit sphere is equal to pi plus the area of the. . . .

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Cubic Conundrum

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?

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Covering Cups

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

What is the shape and dimensions of a box that will contain six cups and have as small a surface area as possible.

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Take Ten

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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. . . .

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Plutarch's Boxes

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

According to Plutarch, the Greeks found all the rectangles with integer sides, whose areas are equal to their perimeters. Can you find them? What rectangular boxes, with integer sides, have. . . .

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F'arc'tion

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

At the corner of the cube circular arcs are drawn and the area enclosed shaded. What fraction of the surface area of the cube is shaded? Try working out the answer without recourse to pencil and. . . .

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Four Points on a Cube

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What is the surface area of the tetrahedron with one vertex at O the vertex of a unit cube and the other vertices at the centres of the faces of the cube not containing O?

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Wrapping Presents

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to wrap it so that it is completely covered.

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The Big Cheese

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start with?

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Cubes

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate the number of faces you can see when you arrange three cubes in different ways.