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. . . .
When I fold a 0-20 number line, I end up with 'stacks' of numbers on top of each other. These challenges involve varying the length of the number line and investigating the 'stack totals'.
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?
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?
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?
A toy has a regular tetrahedron, a cube and a base with triangular and square hollows. If you fit a shape into the correct hollow a bell rings. How many times does the bell ring in a complete game?
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remove them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
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 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?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
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?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .
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?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
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?
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.
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 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?
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?
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
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 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.
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.
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?
One face of a regular tetrahedron is painted blue and each of the remaining faces are painted using one of the colours red, green or yellow. How many different possibilities are there?
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?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
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?
For this task, you'll need an A4 sheet and two A5 transparent sheets. Decide on a way of arranging the A5 sheets on top of the A4 sheet and explore ...
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
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?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?
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?
Can you find a way of counting the spheres in these arrangements?
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. . . .
Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of procedures will help - variables not essential.
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
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?