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.
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. . . .
Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?
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. . . .
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners) of a given triangle is a minimum.
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.
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?
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 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?
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?
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. . . .
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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.
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?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
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?
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?
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
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.
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.
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 game for 2 players
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.
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
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?
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.
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we didn't...?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
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?
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?
Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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.
Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of procedures will help - variables not essential.
Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two different distances between them?
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
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. . . .
Can you mentally fit the 7 SOMA pieces together to make a cube? Can you do it in more than one way?