A cube is made from smaller cubes, 5 by 5 by 5, then some of those cubes are removed. Can you make the specified shapes, and what is the most and least number of cubes required ?
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.
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?
A bicycle passes along a path and leaves some tracks. Is it possible to say which track was made by the front wheel and which by the back wheel?
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares. Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two different distances between them?
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
Can you mentally fit the 7 SOMA pieces together to make a cube? Can you do it in more than one way?
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. . . .
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.
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
What is the minimum number of squares a 13 by 13 square can be dissected into?
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?
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?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
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?
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 see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
This problem is about investigating whether it is possible to start at one vertex of a platonic solid and visit every other vertex once only returning to the vertex you started at.
A visualisation problem in which you search for vectors which sum to zero from a jumble of arrows. Will your eyes be quicker than algebra?
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. . . .
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?
The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .
Can you use small coloured cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of each colour?
Glarsynost lives on a planet whose shape is that of a perfect regular dodecahedron. Can you describe the shortest journey she can make to ensure that she will see every part of the planet?
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?
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?
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
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?
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?
Explore the area of families of parallelograms and triangles. Can you find rules to work out the areas?
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.
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
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.
The farmers want to redraw their field boundary but keep the area the same. Can you advise them?
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be folded into a cube.
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?
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .
A cylindrical helix is just a spiral on a cylinder, like an ordinary spring or the thread on a bolt. If I turn a left-handed helix over (top to bottom) does it become a right handed helix?
What 3D shapes occur in nature. How efficiently can you pack these shapes together?
Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite corner.
In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make shapes with line symmetry?