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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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On the Edge

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

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. . . .

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Square Coordinates

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

A tilted square is a square with no horizontal sides. Can you devise a general instruction for the construction of a square when you are given just one of its sides?

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Intersecting Circles

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

Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?

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Painted Cube

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?

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An Unusual Shape

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

Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?

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Picturing Square Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

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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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Seven Squares - Group-worthy Task

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

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?

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Cuboid Challenge

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

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

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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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Route to Infinity

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

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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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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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Shady Symmetry

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

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Threesomes

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?

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Paving Paths

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

How many different ways can I lay 10 paving slabs, each 2 foot by 1 foot, to make a path 2 foot wide and 10 foot long from my back door into my garden, without cutting any of the paving slabs?

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Painting Cubes

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

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?

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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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Partially Painted Cube

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

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Three Frogs

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Three frogs hopped onto the table. A red frog on the left a green in the middle and a blue frog on the right. Then frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to. . . .

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Marbles in a Box

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?

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Triangles Within Triangles

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?

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Triangles Within Pentagons

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.

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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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Tourism

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

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

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Building Gnomons

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.

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Konigsberg Plus

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

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

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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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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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Is There a Theorem?

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

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?

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Squares in Rectangles

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

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

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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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On Time

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

On a clock the three hands - the second, minute and hour hands - are on the same axis. How often in a 24 hour day will the second hand be parallel to either of the two other hands?

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Diagonal Dodge

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

A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.

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Tetrahedra Tester

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

An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?

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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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Frogs

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

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

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Travelling Salesman

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A Hamiltonian circuit is a continuous path in a graph that passes through each of the vertices exactly once and returns to the start. How many Hamiltonian circuits can you find in these graphs?

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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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Dice, Routes and Pathways

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

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. . . .

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Jam

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A game for 2 players

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The Spider and the Fly

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?

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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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Rolling Around

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

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?

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Getting an Angle

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

How can you make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper twice?

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Muggles Magic

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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 area.

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Take Ten

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

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. . . .

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AMGM

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?

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Rati-o

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

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?

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Königsberg

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

Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?