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Challenge level: Challenge Level:1 Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:3

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Investigations

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The Car That Passes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What statements can you make about the car that passes the school gates at 11am on Monday? How will you come up with statements and test your ideas?

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In the Playground

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

What can you say about the child who will be first on the playground tomorrow morning at breaktime in your school?

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Birds in the Garden

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This activity asks you to collect information about the birds you see in the garden. Are there patterns in the data or do the birds seem to visit randomly?

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How Tall?

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?

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Crossing the Town Square

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.

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The Domesday Project

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Take a look at these data collected by children in 1986 as part of the Domesday Project. What do they tell you? What do you think about the way they are presented?

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More Plant Spaces

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.

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Investigating Pascal's Triangle

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

In this investigation, we look at Pascal's Triangle in a slightly different way - rotated and with the top line of ones taken off.

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Counting on Letters

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?

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More Pebbles

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.

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More Children and Plants

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.

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Steps to the Podium

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

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Troublesome Triangles

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .

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Cubes Here and There

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Cutting it Out

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

I cut this square into two different shapes. What can you say about the relationship between them?

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Tiling

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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!

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New House

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?

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Are You a Smart Shopper?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

In my local town there are three supermarkets which each has a special deal on some products. If you bought all your shopping in one shop, where would be the cheapest?

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Abundant Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Hexpentas

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?

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28 and It's Upward and Onward

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are visible?

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Sticks and Triangles

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Sweets in a Box

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?

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2010: A Year of Investigations

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.

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Play a Merry Tune

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Explore the different tunes you can make with these five gourds. What are the similarities and differences between the two tunes you are given?

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It Was 2010!

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?

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My New Patio

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?

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Two by One

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.

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All Wrapped Up

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

What is the largest cuboid you can wrap in an A3 sheet of paper?

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Sticky Triangles

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?

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Tessellating Transformations

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why not?

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Mobile Numbers

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this investigation, you are challenged to make mobile phone numbers which are easy to remember. What happens if you make a sequence adding 2 each time?

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Street Sequences

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street in different ways.

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Marvellous Matrix

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Follow the directions for circling numbers in the matrix. Add all the circled numbers together. Note your answer. Try again with a different starting number. What do you notice?

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Squareo'scope Determines the Kind of Triangle

Stage: 3

A description of some experiments in which you can make discoveries about triangles.

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Cuboid-in-a-box

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?

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Problem Solving: Opening up Problems

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

All types of mathematical problems serve a useful purpose in mathematics teaching, but different types of problem will achieve different learning objectives. In generalmore open-ended problems have. . . .

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Triangle Relations

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?

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Triangle Pin-down

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.

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Stacks of Maths!

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

In this article for teachers, Bernard gives an example of taking an initial activity and getting questions going that lead to other explorations.

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Follow the Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Tiles in the Garden

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?

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Building with Rods

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?

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It's Times Again

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Numbers arranged in a square but some exceptional spatial awareness probably needed.

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Eye View

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?

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Polygonals

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.

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Big and Small Numbers in the Living World

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Work with numbers big and small to estimate and calculate various quantities in biological contexts.

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So It's Times!

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

How will you decide which way of flipping over and/or turning the grid will give you the highest total?

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Building with Longer Rods

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.