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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 > Visualising

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Tic Tac Toe

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

In the game of Noughts and Crosses there are 8 distinct winning lines. How many distinct winning lines are there in a game played on a 3 by 3 by 3 board, with 27 cells?

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Crossing the Atlantic

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

Every day at noon a boat leaves Le Havre for New York while another boat leaves New York for Le Havre. The ocean crossing takes seven days. How many boats will each boat cross during their journey?

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Dissect

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

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 into?

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Chess

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

What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by 99 square board?

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Coloured Edges

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Linkage

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

Four rods, two of length a and two of length b, are linked to form a kite. The linkage is moveable so that the angles change. What is the maximum area of the kite?

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Triangular Tantaliser

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

Draw all the possible distinct triangles on a 4 x 4 dotty grid. Convince me that you have all possible triangles.

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Soma - So Good

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

Can you mentally fit the 7 SOMA pieces together to make a cube? Can you do it in more than one way?

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Trice

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

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?

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Counting Triangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?

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Cogs

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

A and B are two interlocking cogwheels having p teeth and q teeth respectively. One tooth on B is painted red. Find the values of p and q for which the red tooth on B contacts every gap on the. . . .

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Tetra Square

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

ABCD is a regular tetrahedron and the points P, Q, R and S are the midpoints of the edges AB, BD, CD and CA. Prove that PQRS is a square.

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Drilling Many Cubes

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

A useful visualising exercise which offers opportunities for discussion and generalising, and which could be used for thinking about the formulae needed for generating the results on a spreadsheet.

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Zooming in on the Squares

Stage: 2 and 3

Start with a large square, join the midpoints of its sides, you'll see four right angled triangles. Remove these triangles, a second square is left. Repeat the operation. What happens?

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Convex Polygons

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

Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.

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Eight Hidden Squares

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

On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden squares?

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Cubist Cuts

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

A 3x3x3 cube may be reduced to unit cubes in six saw cuts. If after every cut you can rearrange the pieces before cutting straight through, can you do it in fewer?

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Troublesome Dice

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we didn't...?

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All in the Mind

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

Imagine you are suspending a cube from one vertex (corner) and allowing it to hang freely. Now imagine you are lowering it into water until it is exactly half submerged. What shape does the surface. . . .

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Concrete Wheel

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?

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There and Back Again

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo lives?

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Keep Your Distance

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two different distances between them?

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The Old Goats

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A rectangular field has two posts with a ring on top of each post. There are two quarrelsome goats and plenty of ropes which you can tie to their collars. How can you secure them so they can't. . . .

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Cube Paths

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

Given a 2 by 2 by 2 skeletal cube with one route `down' the cube. How many routes are there from A to B?

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Clocked

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

Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?

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Triangle Inequality

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

ABC is an equilateral triangle and P is a point in the interior of the triangle. We know that AP = 3cm and BP = 4cm. Prove that CP must be less than 10 cm.

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Framed

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

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. . . .

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Hidden Squares

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

Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?

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Tessellating Hexagons

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

Which hexagons tessellate?

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How Many Dice?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .

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Pattern Power

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.

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Cubes Within Cubes

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

We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?

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You Owe Me Five Farthings, Say the Bells of St Martin's

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

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?

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Cutting a Cube

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

A half-cube is cut into two pieces by a plane through the long diagonal and at right angles to it. Can you draw a net of these pieces? Are they identical?

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Playground Snapshot

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

The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?

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Reflecting Squarely

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make shapes with line symmetry?

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Flight of the Flibbins

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

Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .

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Sea Defences

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

These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall and work out a way they might fit together?

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Right Time

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

At the time of writing the hour and minute hands of my clock are at right angles. How long will it be before they are at right angles again?

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Picturing Triangle Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

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Masterclass Ideas: Visualising

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

A package contains a set of resources designed to develop pupils' mathematical thinking. This package places a particular emphasis on “visualising” and is designed to meet the needs. . . .

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A Square in a Circle

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

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 this area?

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Cubes Within Cubes Revisited

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

Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?

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Conway's Chequerboard Army

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

Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?

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Ten Hidden Squares

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

These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares. Can you find the 10 hidden squares?

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Mystic Rose

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

Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.

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Christmas Chocolates

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

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

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3D Stacks

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

Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?

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Circles, Circles

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

Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?

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Auditorium Steps

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

What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?