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.
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg in a square hole?
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?
This article for pupils gives some examples of how circles have featured in people's lives for centuries.
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. . . .
Can you find a relationship between the area of the crescents and the area of the triangle?
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. . . .
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. . . .
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?
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?
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? ...
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
This article gives an wonderful insight into students working on the Arclets problem that first appeared in the Sept 2002 edition of the NRICH website.
'What Shape?' activity for adult and child. Can you ask good questions so you can work out which shape your partner has chosen?
Straight lines are drawn from each corner of a square to the mid points of the opposite sides. Express the area of the octagon that is formed at the centre as a fraction of the area of the square.
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.
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?
Medieval stonemasons used a method to construct octagons using ruler and compasses... Is the octagon regular? Proof please.
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.
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!
Can you work out the area of the inner square and give an explanation of how you did it?
How much of the field can the animals graze?
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.
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
A square of area 40 square cms is inscribed in a semicircle. Find the area of the square that could be inscribed in a circle of the same radius.
This article describes investigations that offer opportunities for children to think differently, and pose their own questions, about shapes.
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. . . .
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?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
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. . . .
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
The diagram shows a regular pentagon with sides of unit length. Find all the angles in the diagram. Prove that the quadrilateral shown in red is a rhombus.
Explore the geometry of these dart and kite shapes!
Can you recreate squares and rhombuses if you are only given a side or a diagonal?
Read all about the number pi and the mathematicians who have tried to find out its value as accurately as possible.
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.
The centre of the larger circle is at the midpoint of one side of an equilateral triangle and the circle touches the other two sides of the triangle. A smaller circle touches the larger circle and. . . .
Identical squares of side one unit contain some circles shaded blue. In which of the four examples is the shaded area greatest?
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?
Investigate the properties of quadrilaterals which can be drawn with a circle just touching each side and another circle just touching each vertex.
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. . . .
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. . . .
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.
Recreating the designs in this challenge requires you to break a problem down into manageable chunks and use the relationships between triangles and hexagons. An exercise in detail and elegance.
Thinking of circles as polygons with an infinite number of sides - but how does this help us with our understanding of the circumference of circle as pi x d? This challenge investigates. . . .
Investigate constructible images which contain rational areas.