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.
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of
activities required to develop this thinking.
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and
reasoning to agree a final product.
Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What
movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of
procedures will help - variables not essential.
This article explores ths history of theories about the shape of our planet. It is the first in a series of articles looking at the significance of geometric shapes in the history of astronomy.
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
The second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?
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
How can you make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Billy's class had a robot called Fred who could draw with chalk
held underneath him. What shapes did the pupils make Fred draw?
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will
happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now
it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know
when it is your turn to ring?
How can the same pieces of the tangram make this bowl before and after it was chipped? Use the interactivity to try and work out what is going on!
On which of these shapes can you trace a path along all of its
edges, without going over any edge twice?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?
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. . . .
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand
face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he
had just finished spelling. How did this work?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the
information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo
Can you visualise what shape this piece of paper will make when it is folded?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Granma T?
This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .
I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of
Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times
would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?
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 ...
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?
You have 27 small cubes, 3 each of nine colours. Use the small cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of every colour.
This practical problem challenges you to make quadrilaterals with a loop of string. You'll need some friends to help!
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube
using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many
different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there
cannot be more than three acute angles.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
What is the total area of the four outside triangles which are
outlined in red in this arrangement of squares inside each other?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?
I've made some cubes and some cubes with holes in. This challenge invites you to explore the difference in the number of small cubes I've used. Can you see any patterns?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?