It is possible to dissect any square into smaller squares. What is
the minimum number of squares a 13 by 13 square can be dissected
Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
A circle rolls around the outside edge of a square so that its circumference always touches the edge of the square. Can you describe the locus of the centre of the circle?
Here are four tiles. They can be arranged in a 2 by 2 square so that this large square has a green edge. If the tiles are moved around, we can make a 2 by 2 square with a blue edge... Now try to. . . .
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are
outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful
inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of
knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
Choose a box and work out the smallest rectangle of paper needed to
wrap it so that it is completely covered.
What shape has Harry drawn on this clock face? Can you find its
area? What is the largest number of square tiles that could cover
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The
frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a
jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions
of. . . .
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the
first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation.
How far does the dot travel?
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
ABCDEFGH is a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. Point P is 1/3 along AB (that is AP
: PB = 1 : 2), point Q is 1/3 along GH and point R is 1/3 along ED.
What is the area of the triangle PQR?
This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.
Points P, Q, R and S each divide the sides AB, BC, CD and DA respectively in the ratio of 2 : 1. Join the points. What is the area of the parallelogram PQRS in relation to the original rectangle?
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?
Is it possible to remove ten unit cubes from a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made from 27 unit cubes so that the surface area of the remaining solid is the same as the surface area of the original 3 by 3 by 3. . . .
You can move the 4 pieces of the jigsaw and fit them into both
outlines. Explain what has happened to the missing one unit of
In a right angled triangular field, three animals are tethered to posts at the midpoint of each side. Each rope is just long enough to allow the animal to reach two adjacent vertices. Only one animal. . . .
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which
there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged
to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Take a line segment of length 1. Remove the middle third. Remove
the middle thirds of what you have left. Repeat infinitely many
times, and you have the Cantor Set. Can you picture it?
For this task, you'll need an A4 sheet and two A5 transparent sheets. Decide on a way of arranging the A5 sheets on top of the A4 sheet and explore ...
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller
circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties
involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows
children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
Billy's class had a robot called Fred who could draw with chalk
held underneath him. What shapes did the pupils make Fred draw?
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares.
Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these convex shapes?
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this sports car?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this goat and giraffe?
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes,
two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus
meet on its way from one end to the other end?
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or
What happens when you turn these cogs? Investigate the differences
between turning two cogs of different sizes and two cogs which are
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of
activities required to develop this thinking.
Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface
area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you
find them all?