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

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9 Hole Light Golf

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

We think this 3x3 version of the game is often harder than the 5x5 version. Do you agree? If so, why do you think that might be?

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Brush Loads

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.

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More Transformations on a Pegboard

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

Use the interactivity to find all the different right-angled triangles you can make by just moving one corner of the starting triangle.

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Egyptian Rope

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

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?

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Buying a Balloon

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?

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Making Cuboids

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

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?

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Making Boxes

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

Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?

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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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Round and Round the Circle

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

What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you can predict what will happen.

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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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Roll These Dice

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

Roll two red dice and a green dice. Add the two numbers on the red dice and take away the number on the green. What are all the different possibilities that could come up?

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Chocolate

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

There are three tables in a room with blocks of chocolate on each. Where would be the best place for each child in the class to sit if they came in one at a time?

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Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.

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Division Rules

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.

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Sending and Receiving Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Exploring Number Patterns You Make

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

Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? What do you think is happening to the numbers?

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Witch's Hat

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

What shapes should Elly cut out to make a witch's hat? How can she make a taller hat?

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Designing Table Mats

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

Formulate and investigate a simple mathematical model for the design of a table mat.

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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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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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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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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.

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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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Tiling Into Slanted Rectangles

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

A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Count the Digits

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

In this investigation we are going to count the number of 1s, 2s, 3s etc in numbers. Can you predict what will happen?

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Shaping It

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

These pictures were made by starting with a square, finding the half-way point on each side and joining those points up. You could investigate your own starting shape.

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Four Layers

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

Can you create more models that follow these rules?

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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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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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3 Sets of Cubes, 2 Surfaces

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

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

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Extending Great Squares

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

Explore one of these five pictures.

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Experiencing Problem Solving

Stage: 1 and 2

Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean in the context of primary classrooms.

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Ip Dip

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

"Ip dip sky blue! Who's 'it'? It's you!" Where would you position yourself so that you are 'it' if there are two players? Three players ...?

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Triple Cubes

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

This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.

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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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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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Gran, How Old Are You?

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

When Charlie asked his grandmother how old she is, he didn't get a straightforward reply! Can you work out how old she is?

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Fit These Shapes

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

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?

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Sorting the Numbers

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

Complete these two jigsaws then put one on top of the other. What happens when you add the 'touching' numbers? What happens when you change the position of the jigsaws?

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Become Maths Detectives

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Explore Alex's number plumber. What questions would you like to ask? Don't forget to keep visiting NRICH projects site for the latest developments and questions.