Step Maze

A man and a young woman are standing on a black mat with a yellow border and red and blue markers throughout. The woman is holding a large black and yellow divider.

Pathways through a maze require planning, spatial skills and geometry.

How it works

Rotate or ‘step’ oversized dividers across a maze, ensuring that the feet only step into matching coloured maze discs.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • What patterns do you notice and how can you plan ahead to reach the other side?
  • Can you find the path through this maze?

Background

Mathematical strategies can be developed for finding a path through the maze. The most famous of these strategies is the ‘left hand rule’. This states that if you keep your left hand touching the wall as you walk through a maze, you’ll eventually find the way out.

This Step Maze has no walls. However, if you imagine the path made by the centre of the dividers as it twirls across the maze, you could also imagine straightening that path out. That straightened path could have imaginary walls, which means you can use strategies such as the ‘left hand rule’.