Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top,
put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you
predict the last card?
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?
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.
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners)
of a given triangle is a minimum.
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.
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.
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?
Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an
unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can
you make? Convince us you have found them all.
Given a 2 by 2 by 2 skeletal cube with one route `down' the cube.
How many routes are there from A to B?
If all the faces of a tetrahedron have the same perimeter then show that they are all congruent.
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.
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. . . .
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
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?
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?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds
leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each
other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return,
400. . . .
In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make
shapes with line symmetry?
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?
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. . . .
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.
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?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?
Here are four tiles. They can be arranged in a 2 by 2 square so that this large square has a green edge. If the tiles are moved around, we can make a 2 by 2 square with a blue edge... Now try to. . . .
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a
room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest
distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?
The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .
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?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube
using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many
different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
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. . . .
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small
cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?
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?
Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they
will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
A half-cube is cut into two pieces by a plane through the long diagonal and at right angles to it. Can you draw a net of these pieces? Are they identical?
The diagram shows a very heavy kitchen cabinet. It cannot be lifted but it can be pivoted around a corner. The task is to move it, without sliding, in a series of turns about the corners so that it. . . .
Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the
information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo