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Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical challenge.


Reasoning about the number of matches needed to build squares that share their sides.

Little Boxes

How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?

Display Boards

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level

We haven't received many solutions to this task yet. The children below have tried to find the narrowest solution possible. If you think you've found a narrower one, please email us to let us know!

Some children at Beckwithshaw Primary School sent in their ideas. Ollie, Megan and Ryan said:

How we did it was we got 32 lolly sticks and placed them on 2 big sheets of A3 squared paper. After that, we looked for possible solutions keeping in mind the rules. We drew them in our books and came to the conclusion of 1 possibility. Our answer showed all the rules and was a closed space. It was hard to keep it as narrow as possible but with trial and error we eventually solved it.

Jack and David sent in this solution for the narrowest display board:

Thank you all for sharing your ideas with us. Interestingly, Ollie, Megan and Ryan's last shape has a smaller area than Jack and David's shape, but Jack and David's shape is 'narrower' in the sense that it is only four display boards wide at its widest point. I wonder which would be more helpful to have at the end of the hall?

Do you think it is possible to find an arrangement that is only three boards wide at its widest point? Or two?