See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.
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?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
How much of the field can the animals graze?
Find the ratio of the outer shaded area to the inner area for a six pointed star and an eight pointed star.
A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite corner.
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 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 right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the square covered by the triangle as it rotates?
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?
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.
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 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?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
A blue coin rolls round two yellow coins which touch. The coins are the same size. How many revolutions does the blue coin make when it rolls all the way round the yellow coins? Investigate for a. . . .
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?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
Four rods are hinged at their ends to form a convex quadrilateral. Investigate the different shapes that the quadrilateral can take. Be patient this problem may be slow to load.
In this problem we are faced with an apparently easy area problem, but it has gone horribly wrong! What happened?
Given a 2 by 2 by 2 skeletal cube with one route `down' the cube. How many routes are there from A to B?
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be folded into a cube.
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?
How can you make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper twice?
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.
A and C are the opposite vertices of a square ABCD, and have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d), respectively. What are the coordinates of the vertices B and D? What is the area of the square?
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?
What is the minimum number of squares a 13 by 13 square can be dissected into?
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 maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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 square of area 3 square units cannot be drawn on a 2D grid so that each of its vertices have integer coordinates, but can it be drawn on a 3D grid? Investigate squares that can be drawn.
Join pentagons together edge to edge. Will they form a ring?
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?
A tilted square is a square with no horizontal sides. Can you devise a general instruction for the construction of a square when you are given just one of its sides?
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?
How many different ways can I lay 10 paving slabs, each 2 foot by 1 foot, to make a path 2 foot wide and 10 foot long from my back door into my garden, without cutting any of the paving slabs?
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?
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.
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
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?
Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo lives?
These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall and work out a way they might fit together?
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.
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?
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?