A game for 2 players
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
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.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
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?
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
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?
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?
Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners) of a given triangle is a minimum.
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Can you make a tetrahedron whose faces all have the same perimeter?
Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
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?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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.
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. . . .
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
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. . . .
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.
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. . . .
P is a point on the circumference of a circle radius r which rolls, without slipping, inside a circle of radius 2r. What is the locus of P?
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
A and B are two interlocking cogwheels having p teeth and q teeth respectively. One tooth on B is painted red. Find the values of p and q for which the red tooth on B contacts every gap on the. . . .
Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation. How far does the dot travel?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top, put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you predict the last card?
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?
When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we didn't...?
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus meet on its way from one end to the other end?
Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?
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. . . .
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?
In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make shapes with line symmetry?
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. . . .
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares. Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .