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?
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?
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. . . .
A rectangular field has two posts with a ring on top of each post. There are two quarrelsome goats and plenty of ropes which you can tie to their collars. How can you secure them so they can't. . . .
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Which hexagons tessellate?
Given a 2 by 2 by 2 skeletal cube with one route `down' the cube. How many routes are there from A to B?
Four rods, two of length a and two of length b, are linked to form a kite. The linkage is moveable so that the angles change. What is the maximum area of the kite?
Join pentagons together edge to edge. Will they form a ring?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be folded into a cube.
Draw all the possible distinct triangles on a 4 x 4 dotty grid. Convince me that you have all possible triangles.
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
What shape is the overlap when you slide one of these shapes half way across another? Can you picture it in your head? Use the interactivity to check your visualisation.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
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.
Is it possible to remove ten unit cubes from a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that the surface area of the remaining solid is the same as the surface area of the original?
Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions of. . . .
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.
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?
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?
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
Imagine you are suspending a cube from one vertex and allowing it to hang freely. What shape does the surface of the water make around the cube?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden squares?
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?
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?
The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?
Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two different distances between them?
How can you make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper twice?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
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.
What is the minimum number of squares a 13 by 13 square can be dissected into?
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.
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?
Points P, Q, R and S each divide the sides AB, BC, CD and DA respectively in the ratio of 2 : 1. Join the points. What is the area of the parallelogram PQRS in relation to the original rectangle?
Can you mentally fit the 7 SOMA pieces together to make a cube? Can you do it in more than one way?
Take a line segment of length 1. Remove the middle third. Remove the middle thirds of what you have left. Repeat infinitely many times, and you have the Cantor Set. Can you picture it?
Semi-regular tessellations combine two or more different regular polygons to fill the plane. Can you find all the semi-regular tessellations?
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus meet on its way from one end to the other end?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.
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?
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?
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. . . .
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
At the time of writing the hour and minute hands of my clock are at right angles. How long will it be before they are at right angles again?
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. . . .
A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?