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. . . .
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?
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?
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?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?
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.
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?
What shape has Harry drawn on this clock face? Can you find its area? What is the largest number of square tiles that could cover this area?
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th mark?
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?
Can you make a 3x3 cube with these shapes made from small cubes?
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?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
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?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Can you predict when you'll be clapping and when you'll be clicking if you start this rhythm? How about when a friend begins a new rhythm at the same time?
Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions of. . . .
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
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?
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?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares. Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what you see? Why not try and make one yourself?
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
What is the greatest number of squares you can make by overlapping three squares?
Can you cut up a square in the way shown and make the pieces into a triangle?
A game has a special dice with a colour spot on each face. These three pictures show different views of the same dice. What colour is opposite blue?
Start with a large square, join the midpoints of its sides, you'll see four right angled triangles. Remove these triangles, a second square is left. Repeat the operation. What happens?
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?