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?
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 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?
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?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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. . . .
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?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
Which hexagons tessellate?
Can you work out how these polygon pictures were drawn, and use that to figure out their angles?
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?
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?
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.
Given a 2 by 2 by 2 skeletal cube with one route `down' the cube. How many routes are there from A to B?
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?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
How can you make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper twice?
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.
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?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
Draw all the possible distinct triangles on a 4 x 4 dotty grid. Convince me that you have all possible triangles.
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
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?
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be folded into a cube.
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
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.
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?
Can you mentally fit the 7 SOMA pieces together to make a cube? Can you do it in more than one way?
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 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?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two different distances between them?
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?
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?
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?
Draw three straight lines to separate these shapes into four groups - each group must contain one of each shape.
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?
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares. Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
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.
What is the minimum number of squares a 13 by 13 square can be dissected into?
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?
This article is based on some of the ideas that emerged during the production of a book which takes visualising as its focus. We began to identify problems which helped us to take a structured view. . . .
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?
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?