This article outlines the underlying axioms of spherical geometry giving a simple proof that the sum of the angles of a triangle on the surface of a unit sphere is equal to pi plus the area of the. . . .
A ribbon runs around a box so that it makes a complete loop with two parallel pieces of ribbon on the top. How long will the ribbon be?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
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.
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?
Some treasure has been hidden in a three-dimensional grid! Can you work out a strategy to find it as efficiently as possible?
Draw all the possible distinct triangles on a 4 x 4 dotty grid. Convince me that you have all possible triangles.
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be folded into a cube.
What 3D shapes occur in nature. How efficiently can you pack these shapes together?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?
Anne completes a circuit around a circular track in 40 seconds. Brenda runs in the opposite direction and meets Anne every 15 seconds. How long does it take Brenda to run around the track?
A 3x3x3 cube may be reduced to unit cubes in six saw cuts. If after every cut you can rearrange the pieces before cutting straight through, can you do it in fewer?
Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?
Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo lives?
There are 27 small cubes in a 3 x 3 x 3 cube, 54 faces being visible at any one time. Is it possible to reorganise these cubes so that by dipping the large cube into a pot of paint three times you. . . .
An irregular tetrahedron has two opposite sides the same length a and the line joining their midpoints is perpendicular to these two edges and is of length b. What is the volume of the tetrahedron?
Mike and Monisha meet at the race track, which is 400m round. Just to make a point, Mike runs anticlockwise whilst Monisha runs clockwise. Where will they meet on their way around and will they ever. . . .
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?
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
Find the ratio of the outer shaded area to the inner area for a six pointed star and an eight pointed star.
How can visual patterns be used to prove sums of series?
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?
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return, 400. . . .
A circular plate rolls in contact with the sides of a rectangular tray. How much of its circumference comes into contact with the sides of the tray when it rolls around one circuit?
A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .
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?
Can you find a cuboid that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?
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.
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
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.
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.
How much of the field can the animals graze?
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
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.
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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?
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. . . .
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?