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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?

World of Tan 7 - Golden Goose

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level

This activity follows on from World of Tan 6 - Junk.

It was almost a week after Mr Cheung moved into his new restaurant that everything went wrong. The gold plaque of the goose that had been passed down through generations of Mr Cheung's family could not be found anywhere. Obviously, those at Granma T's had lost it or stolen it.

Mr Cheung was both angry and disappointed. At first, Granma T was calm and composed. She tried to reassure Mr Cheung that the plaque would be found. If all else failed, she would pay for a replacement! It was then that Mr Cheung exploded, "The plaque is a priceless family heirloom, it cannot simply be replaced! Besides, the beak of the goose alone would cost one thousand Chinese yuan."

Granma T slumped into her chair. She was shaking and there was a tremor in her voice as she barked orders at everyone. The children were sent off to thoroughly search the packing cases. The workers were sent back to the old business premises. They were to search every corner of the building and back yard. No stone was to be left unturned!

"How could we have been so careless?" wondered Granma T.

In the meantime, complete the silhouette of the Golden Goose plaque as last seen.

Extra activities:

  • Imagine that each shape in the tangram is made of the same type of gold, and the white space around the plaque doesn't cost anything. Can you work out the full cost of the plaque if the cost of the beak is 1000 Chinese yuan?
  • Design a new plaque that has at least one line of symmetry.

The story continues in World of Tan 8 - Sports Car.