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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Practical Activity

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Making Maths: String and Circles

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

You could use just coloured pencils and paper to create this design, but it will be more eye-catching if you can get hold of hammer, nails and string.

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Making Maths: Archimedes' Spiral

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Make a spiral mobile.

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It's a Fence!

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular arrangements.

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Flip Your Mat!

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

What shape and size of drinks mat is best for flipping and catching?

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Thirsty?

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Can you lay out the pictures of the drinks in the way described by the clue cards?

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First Forward Into Logo 3: Repeat REPEAT

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

More Logo for beginners. Now learn more about the REPEAT command.

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Shaping Up

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?

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Two by One

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.

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How Many?

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

This project challenges you to work out the number of cubes hidden under a cloth. What questions would you like to ask?

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Shapely Lines

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

This challenge invites you to create your own picture using just straight lines. Can you identify shapes with the same number of sides and decorate them in the same way?

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Watch Those Wheels

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Have you ever noticed the patterns in car wheel trims? These questions will make you look at car wheels in a different way!

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Regular Rings 2

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

What shape is made when you fold using this crease pattern? Can you make a ring design?

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Making Maths: Walking Through a Playing Card?

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

It might seem impossible but it is possible. How can you cut a playing card to make a hole big enough to walk through?

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Making Maths: Celtic Knot Tiles

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Make some celtic knot patterns using tiling techniques

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First Forward Into Logo 4: Circles

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Learn how to draw circles using Logo. Wait a minute! Are they really circles? If not what are they?

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Well Balanced

Age 5 to 18 Challenge Level:

Exploring balance and centres of mass can be great fun. The resulting structures can seem impossible. Here are some images to encourage you to experiment with non-breakable objects of your own.

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Jig Shapes

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Can you each work out what shape you have part of on your card? What will the rest of it look like?

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Plaited Origami Polyhedra

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

These models have appeared around the Centre for Mathematical Sciences. Perhaps you would like to try to make some similar models of your own.

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First Forward Into Logo 2: Polygons

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

This is the second in a twelve part introduction to Logo for beginners. In this part you learn to draw polygons.

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First Forward Into Logo 5: Pen Up, Pen Down

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

Learn about Pen Up and Pen Down in Logo

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Rectangles with Dominoes

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Can you make a rectangle with just 2 dominoes? What about 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...?

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Plaiting and Braiding

Age 7 to 14

This article for students gives some instructions about how to make some different braids.

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Sports Equipment

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If these balls are put on a line with each ball touching the one in front and the one behind, which arrangement makes the shortest line of balls?

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Observing the Sun and the Moon

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

How does the time of dawn and dusk vary? What about the Moon, how does that change from night to night? Is the Sun always the same? Gather data to help you explore these questions.

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Celtic Knotwork Patterns

Age 7 to 14

This article for pupils gives an introduction to Celtic knotwork patterns and a feel for how you can draw them.

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Triangular Faces

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This problem invites you to build 3D shapes using two different triangles. Can you make the shapes from the pictures?

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Building Patterns

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you deduce the pattern that has been used to lay out these bottle tops?

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Putting Two and Two Together

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can be fitted together?

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Stringy Quads

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This practical problem challenges you to make quadrilaterals with a loop of string. You'll need some friends to help!

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Making Sticks

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Kimie and Sebastian were making sticks from interlocking cubes and lining them up. Can they make their lines the same length? Can they make any other lines?

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Star Find

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Can you see which tile is the odd one out in this design? Using the basic tile, can you make a repeating pattern to decorate our wall?

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Sizing Them Up

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Can you put these shapes in order of size? Start with the smallest.

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It's a Tie

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Kaia is sure that her father has worn a particular tie twice a week in at least five of the last ten weeks, but her father disagrees. Who do you think is right?

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A Patchwork Piece

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Follow the diagrams to make this patchwork piece, based on an octagon in a square.

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Paper Folding - Models of the Platonic Solids

Age 7 to 16

A description of how to make the five Platonic solids out of paper.

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Paper Patchwork 1

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Can you work out what shape is made when this piece of paper is folded up using the crease pattern shown?

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Folding Flowers 2

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Make a flower design using the same shape made out of different sizes of paper.

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Sticks and Triangles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of sticks that make the most triangles?

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Regular Rings 1

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you work out what shape is made by folding in this way? Why not create some patterns using this shape but in different sizes?

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Cereal Packets

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?

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Cutting Corners

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?

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Making Maths: Birds from an Egg

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?

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Folding, Cutting and Punching

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Exploring and predicting folding, cutting and punching holes and making spirals.

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Rearrange the Square

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

We can cut a small triangle off the corner of a square and then fit the two pieces together. Can you work out how these shapes are made from the two pieces?

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Construct-o-straws

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

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Tricky Triangles

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?

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Paper Patchwork 2

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Have a go at making a few of these shapes from paper in different sizes. What patterns can you create?

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Let Us Reflect

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Where can you put the mirror across the square so that you can still "see" the whole square? How many different positions are possible?

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Sea Defences

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall and work out a way they might fit together?

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Seven Flipped

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.