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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 8 - Sports Car

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level

This activity follows on from World of Tan 7 - Golden Goose.

Mr Cheung's plaque had still not been found. In between other removals and scheduled deliveries, every spare moment had been spent looking for the missing plaque. Granma T no longer blamed the workers or the children or Mah Ling - she didn't know where it could be.

It was the end of the day, and everyone was sat in the office thinking about what to do next. They only had a few more days before Mr Cheung's deadline was reached. Then, parts of the removals business would have to be sold to pay for the replacement plaque. 

Mr Cheung and his cousin had spent the anxious days since the move searching and searching for the plaque, but to no avail. He had even offered a reward for its safe return, but there was still no news. As it was a family heirloom passed down from his grandfather, Mr Cheung was reluctant to order a replacement and give up on finding the original plaque, but he didn't know what else to do. 

It was at the end of this dismal day when Mr Cheung screeched into the yard in his red sportscar. He was clearly agitated and was wildly waving a piece of paper in the air.

"Granma T, Granma T," he shouted, getting out his car and striding across the yard. "Look, you are not to blame!" 

Onto the table he thrust a single sheet of paper. It was a ransom note, demanding one million Chinese yuan in exchange for the safe return of the plaque!

In the meantime, complete the silhouette of Mr Cheung's red sports car using a double tangram (two sets of the tangram).

Extra activities:

  • Can you write down the number 'one million' in digits? What do you know about the number? Have you been alive for at least one million seconds? 
  • Find out how much money one million Chinese yuan is in some other currencies. How many US dollars would it be? How many pounds sterling?

The story continues in World of Tan 9 - Animals.