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Principia mission - maths in space

On December 15th 2015 European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake launched on the six month Principia mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Principia was named after Isaac Newton’s Naturalis Principia Mathematica, describing the principal laws of motion and gravity.

The education and inspiration of...

Viva Las Vegas

This activity shows how Earth observation can be used to study human geography by comparing the satellite images of Las Vegas over the last few decades. Linking to measurement of irregular areas and addition and multiplication of fractions, it asks children to measure the area of Las Vegas at three separate times...

James Webb Space Telescope: Designing the Primary Mirror

This activity looks at the primary mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope exploring the challenges that faced scientists and engineers whilst they were designing it. Linking to tessellating shapes in mathematics children investigate different shapes. They then look at the rotational...

Sierpinski Triangles Investigation

This resource, from the Royal Institution, provides students with the opportunity to explore patterns in mathematics. The activity begins by considering observed patterns in number sequences and progresses to the concept of fractals, which is introduced to students through playing 'the chaos game'. Students...

Platonic Solids

This resource, from the Royal Institution, provides a practical experience which introduces students to the classification of 3D shapes. Modelling equipment is used to construct solids and explore possible shapes that can be formed with only triangular, square or pentagonal faces. Students also learn about Platonic...

Number Stairs

This Subtangent investigation looks at the total of the squares inside a stair shape.

Initially students investigate the relationship of the totals of a three step stair and its position on a 10 by 10 grid.

Using algebra, students may discover a general rule which applies to any stair on the grid....

Mirrors and Angles Investigation

In this practical activity, from the Royal Institution, students use paired mirrors to investigate repeated reflections and the symmetrical properties of certain polygons. Based on observations made about these symmetries, students then look at how the mirrors and reflections allow them to deduce the angles in...

Loopy Snooker

A special snooker table is the basis for this investigation from Subtangent. There are only four pockets on the table and you can only play the ball at 450 to the sides of the table. The ball begins from a given corner of the table and keeps moving until it hits a pocket. The number of bounces is...

Leapfrog

The frogs in this Subtangent investigation have to be moved from one set of lily pads to another, following specific rules. This classic investigation is suitable for a wide age range of students. The number of frogs on each side can be varied, allowing further investigation and generalisations for the number of...

Diagonal Differences

This Subtangent investigation looks at what happens if the numbers in opposite corners of a three by three square, placed on an eight by eight grid, are multiplied then their difference found. Using algebra, students may discover a general rule which applies to any three by three square placed on the grid. Students...

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