Maths Puzzles for KS3/KS4

Pipes and pathways


Teaching notes

When solving these two puzzles, students tend to enjoy experimenting with different approaches. You could either distribute the worksheets to students, or show the PowerPoint files on an interactive whiteboard which can be drawn on in front of the group, involving everyone in the discussion.

For Puzzling pipes, you may wish to point out to students that most gas pipes are made up of straight lines and elbows (90 angles), so solutions containing curves are unrealistic, though they may be mathematically sound.


One solution is:

One solution is:


Are there any other possible solutions? How could you decide which solution is the best?

  • Ask students to design their own Millionaire Island with a different number of houses.
  • Would the problem be easier to solve if two, three, four or more houses shared a dock?
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