Five resources for puzzling and wondering through maths in Years 9 and 10

Using these five interactive and entertaining resources, you can help your teen discover just how maths is being used around them. From playing with maths in episodes of the Simpsons to a secret strategy to win rock-paper-scissors, your teen will be left wondering, puzzling and maybe even inspired by the impact of maths in everyday life.

Humble Pi: A Comedy Of Maths Errors

Written by Matt Parker.

So much of our day-to-day lives are underpinned by maths but we rarely notice it until something goes wrong!

From bridges that unexpectedly wobble to billions of dollars seeming to disappear overnight... This hilarious book will show your teen how much maths surrounds us, what happens when it goes wrong, and how maths comes to the rescue with an even better solution.

Winning At Rock Paper Scissors

Developed by NumberphileExternal link. Speaker: Lily Serna.

Is it possible to win rock-paper-scissors every single time? This video will show your teen that there’s a strategy to increase your chances of winning, using mathematical thinking. Get your teen to test out the strategy, and try it with other games too - just don’t bet the tidying up on it!

The Forgotten Flexagon

Developed by NumberphileExternal link. Speaker Matt Parker.

Did you know you can puzzle with maths to build curiosity, perseverance and spatial reasoning with some very simple supplies? All your teen needs to follow along with this video is a sheet of paper and a pair of scissors. This video demonstrates how to make the “forgotten flexagon” - the tetra-flexagon - and what fun things your teen can do with these intriguing 3D objects.

The Simpsons And Their Mathematical Secrets

Written by Simon Singh.

If you or your teen are fans of this long-running animated comedy series, this book could be of interest to them. They may have watched hundreds of episodes without realising the maths 'inside jokes' they’ve witnessed along the way.

From a brief reference in the background to key plot points or the theme of entire episodes - much like real life - the town of Springfield has maths everywhere.

Supermath: The Power Of Numbers For Good And Evil

Written by Anna Weltman.

This book showcases maths as a tool used to solve, and prevent, some really big problems. Archeologists, epidemiologists and families use maths all the time to help overcome challenges. Explore how maths can be used to solve problems and the far-reaching consequences when maths is not used for good!

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