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. . . .
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?
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?
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 shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
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 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?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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 fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this goat and giraffe?
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or ruling lines.
Can you make a 3x3 cube with these shapes made from small cubes?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this sports car?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the rocket?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Mai Ling?
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. . . .
Reasoning about the number of matches needed to build squares that share their sides.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these convex shapes?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Can you cut up a square in the way shown and make the pieces into a triangle?
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 this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?