Imagine a 4 by 4 by 4 cube. If you and a friend drill holes in some of the small cubes in the ways described, how many will not have holes drilled through them?
Imagine a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made of 9 small cubes. Each face of the large cube is painted a different colour. How many small cubes will have two painted faces? Where are they?
A game has a special dice with a colour spot on each face. These three pictures show different views of the same dice. What colour is opposite blue?
How can you paint the faces of these eight cubes so they can be put together to make a 2 x 2 x 2 cube that is green all over AND a 2 x 2 x 2 cube that is yellow all over?
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical challenge.
I've made some cubes and some cubes with holes in. This challenge invites you to explore the difference in the number of small cubes I've used. Can you see any patterns?
Here are the six faces of a cube - in no particular order. Here are three views of the cube. Can you deduce where the faces are in relation to each other and record them on the net of this cube?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
Can you make a 3x3 cube with these shapes made from small cubes?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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. . . .
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?
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 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?
When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we didn't...?
Find all the ways to cut out a 'net' of six squares that can be folded into a cube.
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.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Make a cube with three strips of paper. Colour three faces or use the numbers 1 to 6 to make a die.
The challenge for you is to make a string of six (or more!) graded cubes.
A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4 units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different cuboids can you make?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid) parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
How many faces can you see when you arrange these three cubes in different ways?
What size square should you cut out of each corner of a 10 x 10 grid to make the box that would hold the greatest number of cubes?
Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
What is the largest cuboid you can wrap in an A3 sheet of paper?
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?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
We went to the cinema and decided to buy some bags of popcorn so we asked about the prices. Investigate how much popcorn each bag holds so find out which we might have bought.
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
How can we as teachers begin to introduce 3D ideas to young children? Where do they start? How can we lay the foundations for a later enthusiasm for working in three dimensions?
A box has faces with areas 3, 12 and 25 square centimetres. What is the volume of the box?
A task which depends on members of the group working collaboratively to reach a single goal.
How can you change the surface area of a cuboid but keep its volume the same? How can you change the volume but keep the surface area the same?
A description of how to make the five Platonic solids out of paper.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
This task develops spatial reasoning skills. By framing and asking questions a member of the team has to find out what mathematical object they have chosen.
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.