This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals have an even number of red counters?
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover an eight by eight chessboard?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold it up?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up with the same arrangement?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
What is the least number of moves you can take to rearrange the bears so that no bear is next to a bear of the same colour?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many different ways can they build their houses?
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
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.
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Eight children each had a cube made from modelling clay. They cut them into four pieces which were all exactly the same shape and size. Whose pieces are the same? Can you decide who made each set?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the watering can and man in a boat?
Imagine a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. If you and a friend drill holes in some of the small cubes in the ways described, how many will have holes drilled through them?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these convex shapes?