Use a single sheet of A4 paper and make a cylinder having the greatest possible volume. The cylinder must be closed off by a circle at each end.
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?
A circle rolls around the outside edge of a square so that its circumference always touches the edge of the square. Can you describe the locus of the centre of the circle?
The computer has made a rectangle and will tell you the number of spots it uses in total. Can you find out where the rectangle is?
A blue coin rolls round two yellow coins which touch. The coins are the same size. How many revolutions does the blue coin make when it rolls all the way round the yellow coins? Investigate for a. . . .
Show how this pentagonal tile can be used to tile the plane and describe the transformations which map this pentagon to its images in the tiling.
With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.
Can you recreate squares and rhombuses if you are only given a side or a diagonal?
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
How much of the field can the animals graze?
Show that for any triangle it is always possible to construct 3 touching circles with centres at the vertices. Is it possible to construct touching circles centred at the vertices of any polygon?
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an explanation of how you did it?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg in a square hole?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?
This task develops spatial reasoning skills. By framing and asking questions a member of the team has to find out what mathematical object they have chosen.
Where should runners start the 200m race so that they have all run the same distance by the finish?
Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?
Explain how the thirteen pieces making up the regular hexagon shown in the diagram can be re-assembled to form three smaller regular hexagons congruent to each other.
Can Jo make a gym bag for her trainers from the piece of fabric she has?
'What Shape?' activity for adult and child. Can you ask good questions so you can work out which shape your partner has chosen?
By inscribing a circle in a square and then a square in a circle find an approximation to pi. By using a hexagon, can you improve on the approximation?
This article for pupils gives some examples of how circles have featured in people's lives for centuries.
The largest square which fits into a circle is ABCD and EFGH is a square with G and H on the line CD and E and F on the circumference of the circle. Show that AB = 5EF. Similarly the largest. . . .
Can you prove that the sum of the distances of any point inside a square from its sides is always equal (half the perimeter)? Can you prove it to be true for a rectangle or a hexagon?
Read about David Hilbert who proved that any polygon could be cut up into a certain number of pieces that could be put back together to form any other polygon of equal area.
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?
Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q such that APCQ is a rhombus.
Bluey-green, white and transparent squares with a few odd bits of shapes around the perimeter. But, how many squares are there of each type in the complete circle? Study the picture and make. . . .
A circle touches the lines OA, OB and AB where OA and OB are perpendicular. Show that the diameter of the circle is equal to the perimeter of the triangle
M is any point on the line AB. Squares of side length AM and MB are constructed and their circumcircles intersect at P (and M). Prove that the lines AD and BE produced pass through P.
Given a square ABCD of sides 10 cm, and using the corners as centres, construct four quadrants with radius 10 cm each inside the square. The four arcs intersect at P, Q, R and S. Find the. . . .
A farmer has a field which is the shape of a trapezium as illustrated below. To increase his profits he wishes to grow two different crops. To do this he would like to divide the field into two. . . .
Two circles are enclosed by a rectangle 12 units by x units. The distance between the centres of the two circles is x/3 units. How big is x?
A floor is covered by a tessellation of equilateral triangles, each having three equal arcs inside it. What proportion of the area of the tessellation is shaded?
Follow the instructions and you can take a rectangle, cut it into 4 pieces, discard two small triangles, put together the remaining two pieces and end up with a rectangle the same size. Try it!
The ten arcs forming the edges of the "holly leaf" are all arcs of circles of radius 1 cm. Find the length of the perimeter of the holly leaf and the area of its surface.
Investigate the properties of quadrilaterals which can be drawn with a circle just touching each side and another circle just touching each vertex.
Two semi-circles (each of radius 1/2) touch each other, and a semi-circle of radius 1 touches both of them. Find the radius of the circle which touches all three semi-circles.
Equal circles can be arranged so that each circle touches four or six others. What percentage of the plane is covered by circles in each packing pattern? ...
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
Identical squares of side one unit contain some circles shaded blue. In which of the four examples is the shaded area greatest?
Can you find a relationship between the area of the crescents and the area of the triangle?
We have four rods of equal lengths hinged at their endpoints to form a rhombus ABCD. Keeping AB fixed we allow CD to take all possible positions in the plane. What is the locus (or path) of the point. . . .
In LOGO circles can be described in terms of polygons with an infinite (in this case large number) of sides - investigate this definition further.
The challenge is to produce elegant solutions. Elegance here implies simplicity. The focus is on rhombi, in particular those formed by jointing two equilateral triangles along an edge.
What shapes should Elly cut out to make a witch's hat? How can she make a taller hat?
Investigate constructible images which contain rational areas.
A kite shaped lawn consists of an equilateral triangle ABC of side 130 feet and an isosceles triangle BCD in which BD and CD are of length 169 feet. A gardener has a motor mower which cuts strips of. . . .