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Picturing Triangular Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

Drilling Many Cubes

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

A useful visualising exercise which offers opportunities for discussion and generalising, and which could be used for thinking about the formulae needed for generating the results on a spreadsheet.

Tic Tac Toe

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

In the game of Noughts and Crosses there are 8 distinct winning lines. How many distinct winning lines are there in a game played on a 3 by 3 by 3 board, with 27 cells?

Convex Polygons

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.

Concrete Wheel

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two different distances between them?

Christmas Chocolates

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

Sea Defences

Stage: 2 and 3 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?

Zooming in on the Squares

Stage: 2 and 3

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?

You Owe Me Five Farthings, Say the Bells of St Martin's

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?

Cubes Within Cubes Revisited

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?

Cubist Cuts

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

A 3x3x3 cube may be reduced to unit cubes in six saw cuts. If after every cut you can rearrange the pieces before cutting straight through, can you do it in fewer?

Triangle Inequality

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

ABC is an equilateral triangle and P is a point in the interior of the triangle. We know that AP = 3cm and BP = 4cm. Prove that CP must be less than 10 cm.

Instant Insanity

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

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.

The Triangle Game

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

Can you discover whether this is a fair game?

Pattern Power

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.

A Tilted Square

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?

All in the Mind

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Imagine you are suspending a cube from one vertex (corner) and allowing it to hang freely. Now imagine you are lowering it into water until it is exactly half submerged. What shape does the surface. . . .

Tessellating Hexagons

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Which hexagons tessellate?

Triangles Within Triangles

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?

Diagonal Dodge

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.

Tetrahedra Tester

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Trice

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

ABCDEFGH is a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. Point P is 1/3 along AB (that is AP : PB = 1 : 2), point Q is 1/3 along GH and point R is 1/3 along ED. What is the area of the triangle PQR?

Konigsberg Plus

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Tourism

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Jam

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

Khun Phaen Escapes to Freedom

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.

Tetra Square

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

ABCD is a regular tetrahedron and the points P, Q, R and S are the midpoints of the edges AB, BD, CD and CA. Prove that PQRS is a square.

Coordinate Patterns

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

Conway's Chequerboard Army

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?

Christmas Boxes

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be folded into a cube.

Flight of the Flibbins

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Königsberg

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Bands and Bridges: Bringing Topology Back

Stage: 2 and 3

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

Clocked

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Triangles Within Pentagons

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.

How Many Dice?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .

Screwed-up

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

A cylindrical helix is just a spiral on a cylinder, like an ordinary spring or the thread on a bolt. If I turn a left-handed helix over (top to bottom) does it become a right handed helix?

3D Stacks

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?

Marbles in a Box

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?

Counting Triangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?

Soma - So Good

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Can you mentally fit the 7 SOMA pieces together to make a cube? Can you do it in more than one way?

Chess

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by 99 square board?

Crossing the Atlantic

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Auditorium Steps

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:

What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?

Troublesome Dice

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we didn't...?

Steel Cables

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

Cogs

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

A and B are two interlocking cogwheels having p teeth and q teeth respectively. One tooth on B is painted red. Find the values of p and q for which the red tooth on B contacts every gap on the. . . .

When Will You Pay Me? Say the Bells of Old Bailey

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which bell to ring?

Seven Squares

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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