The second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.

This article explores ths history of theories about the shape of our planet. It is the first in a series of articles looking at the significance of geometric shapes in the history of astronomy.

Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.

A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus meet on its way from one end to the other end?

Every day at noon a boat leaves Le Havre for New York while another boat leaves New York for Le Havre. The ocean crossing takes seven days. How many boats will each boat cross during their journey?

I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?

On a clock the three hands - the second, minute and hour hands - are on the same axis. How often in a 24 hour day will the second hand be parallel to either of the two other hands?

See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.

Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of procedures will help - variables not essential.

This article is based on some of the ideas that emerged during the production of a book which takes visualising as its focus. We began to identify problems which helped us to take a structured view. . . .

What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?

A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.

Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo lives?

Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.

Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?

At the time of writing the hour and minute hands of my clock are at right angles. How long will it be before they are at right angles again?

The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?

Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .

Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?

A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.

Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.

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.

The reader is invited to investigate changes (or permutations) in the ringing of church bells, illustrated by braid diagrams showing the order in which the bells are rung.

A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will be produced using different wheels?

Anne completes a circuit around a circular track in 40 seconds. Brenda runs in the opposite direction and meets Anne every 15 seconds. How long does it take Brenda to run around the track?

This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.

Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?

Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?

Take a line segment of length 1. Remove the middle third. Remove the middle thirds of what you have left. Repeat infinitely many times, and you have the Cantor Set. Can you picture it?

A game for 2 players. Given a board of dots in a grid pattern, players take turns drawing a line by connecting 2 adjacent dots. Your goal is to complete more squares than your opponent.

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?

This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?

If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the watering can and man in a boat?

Generate three random numbers to determine the side lengths of a triangle. What triangles can you draw?

A Hamiltonian circuit is a continuous path in a graph that passes through each of the vertices exactly once and returns to the start. How many Hamiltonian circuits can you find in these graphs?

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?

Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?

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?

Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.

This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.

Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or ruling lines.

What happens when you turn these cogs? Investigate the differences between turning two cogs of different sizes and two cogs which are the same.

Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?