This weeks’s activity comes from the field of recreational mathematics. While the puzzle may not seem very mathematical (other than using mathematical language like points and line segments), it is actually related to the mathematical fields of network theory and topology. In this puzzle, students are asked to connect six points (labeled A-E) with line… Continue Reading

This post is a quick follow-up to the one from last Monday in which I showed you the O’Beirne cube puzzle. After we finished filming for that post, we still had the six puzzles on the table and we got to talking about the sequence in which the puzzle comes apart and goes back together… Continue Reading

This week’s Puzzle Corner activity in one member of a family of challenging, multiple-solution, dissection puzzles. These puzzles are geometric in nature and many, like the one presented here, are modeled after tangrams, the best-known of the dissection puzzles. Like tangrams, students can put the five pieces of this puzzle together into a number of… Continue Reading

This post is a bit of an experiment. First of all, I want to tell you about and show you a put-together-puzzle called O’Beirne’s cube. This is not just any puzzle. It is one of the most amazing, delightful, and elegant puzzles ever invented. There are people who know about things like this who rank… Continue Reading

Six drinking glasses are arranged in a row. The first three are filled with water; the next three are empty. Is it possible to get the full and empty glasses to alternate by moving only one glass? This classic brain teaser has been making the rounds in recreational mathematics circles for years and is the… Continue Reading

This week’s Puzzle Corner activity challenges students to find the “logic” or rule behind a pricing scheme for wooden letters when given a number of examples. In order to do this, students need to look carefully at the letters and the related costs and try to uncover the pricing logic used and then apply it to a new name and their… Continue Reading

This puzzle features a series of computations involving, among other factors, the student’s own age and birth month. After the computations are completed, students are asked to find a pattern in their answers. This is best done in groups and is not difficult if no computational errors have been made. After students have discovered the… Continue Reading

The Puzzle Corner activity this week is a magic trick that requires no slight of hand, just a little dexterity of hand—and an application of topological principles. In the trick, two small cylindrical objects are switched back and forth between hands without dropping them. This is not as easy as it might seem since the… Continue Reading

Reducing Squares belongs to a category of puzzles called “matchstick puzzles” which were very popular in America during the last century. Most adults in those days carried small boxes of matches with them to light the many candles or lamps in their homes. Many of these same people had a favorite repertoire of matchstick puzzles… Continue Reading

Shape Makers is one of a large family of dissection puzzles which challenge students to assemble a series of smaller shapes to form larger ones. Tangrams, which gained popularity in the early 1900s, are perhaps the most common kind of dissection puzzle. In Shape Makers, four squares and eight triangles must be reassembled to create… Continue Reading