Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles
using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What
other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
Vincent and Tara are making triangles with the class construction set. They have a pile of strips of different lengths. How many different triangles can they make?
Explore the triangles that can be made with seven sticks of the
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which
seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the
foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create your own repeating pattern?
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are
you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of
sticks that make the most triangles?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could
be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different
combinations of these can you find?
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you
move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up
with the same arrangement?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different numbers and different rules.
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the
outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you
find for me to take?
Sort the houses in my street into different groups. Can you do it in any other ways?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.
Use your mouse to move the red and green parts of this disc. Can
you make images which show the turnings described?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4
units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different
cuboids can you make?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of
the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other
shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets
do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the
paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles
48 is called an abundant number because it is less than the sum of its factors (without itself). Can you find some more abundant numbers?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to
another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number
and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many
different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and
the 2 must not touch the table?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame
without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you
try the other shapes?
These caterpillars have 16 parts. What different shapes do they make if each part lies in the small squares of a 4 by 4 square?
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the
total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can
you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence
to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8
You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?
Investigate this balance which is marked in halves. If you had a weight on the left-hand 7, where could you hang two weights on the right to make it balance?