Mathematical Investigations

Snooker

Instructions

Snooker Table

D.Keith www.subtangent.com
D.Keith www.subtangent.com

Collect some data for different sized snooker tables. You may wish to collect your results in a spreadsheet so that you can investigate the relationships between the numbers. Given the length and height of a table can you predict which pocket the ball will end up in? How many times will the ball bounce off a side of the snooker table? How far will the ball travel before falling into a pocket? There are many things you could investigate. Don't forget to take pride in your work!

Width Height Bounces Pocket

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Investigations Home

Do you have any starting points for mathematical investigations or comments about the investigations we have presented here? Click here to enter your ideas.

A mathematical investigation is quite different to other mathematical activities. The best investigations are open ended and allow students to choose the way they work and how they record their findings. It is one of the few occasions when 'going off on a tangent' is not only acceptable but actively encouraged (within reason).

Students may ask for 'the answers' but this supposes that the activity is closed. Investigations can always be extended by varying the initial instructions or asking the question 'what if...?'. Sometimes students point out that the instructions are ambiguous and can be interpreted in different ways. This is fine and the students are encouraged to explain how they interpreted the instructions in their report.

Some students may benefit from a writing frame when producing the reports of their investigations. Teachers may suggest sections or headings such as Introduction, Interpretation, Research, Working and Conclusion or something similar.

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