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.
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
How much of the square is coloured blue? How will the pattern continue?
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?
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. . . .
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. . . .
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?
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.
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
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?
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. . . .
Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo lives?
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. . . .
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?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
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?
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?
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?
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. . . .
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?
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?
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?
What 3D shapes occur in nature. How efficiently can you pack these shapes together?
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?
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?
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?
Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?
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.
Find the ratio of the outer shaded area to the inner area for a six pointed star and an eight pointed star.
A game for 2 players
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.
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.
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
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?
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
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 make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
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. . . .
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?
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 moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
Generate three random numbers to determine the side lengths of a triangle. What triangles can you draw?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?