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!
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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
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