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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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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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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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Isosceles Triangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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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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Sliding Puzzle

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

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 moves.

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Khun Phaen Escapes to Freedom

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

Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.

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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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Square It

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

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.

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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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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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Marbles in a Box

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

How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?

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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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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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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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Semi-regular Tessellations

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Semi-regular tessellations combine two or more different regular polygons to fill the plane. Can you find all the semi-regular tessellations?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Instant Insanity

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

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.

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Frogs

Stage: 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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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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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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Triangles to Tetrahedra

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

Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?

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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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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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Steel Cables

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

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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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When Will You Pay Me? Say the Bells of Old Bailey

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

Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which bell to ring?

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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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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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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?

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Screwed-up

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A cylindrical helix is just a spiral on a cylinder, like an ordinary spring or the thread on a bolt. If I turn a left-handed helix over (top to bottom) does it become a right handed helix?

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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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Tied Up

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

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. . . .

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Rolling Triangle

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

The triangle ABC is equilateral. The arc AB has centre C, the arc BC has centre A and the arc CA has centre B. Explain how and why this shape can roll along between two parallel tracks.

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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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Triangles in the Middle

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

This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.

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Diminishing Returns

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

In this problem, we have created a pattern from smaller and smaller squares. If we carried on the pattern forever, what proportion of the image would be coloured blue?

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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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Icosagram

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Draw a pentagon with all the diagonals. This is called a pentagram. How many diagonals are there? How many diagonals are there in a hexagram, heptagram, ... Does any pattern occur when looking at. . . .

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Weighty Problem

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The diagram shows a very heavy kitchen cabinet. It cannot be lifted but it can be pivoted around a corner. The task is to move it, without sliding, in a series of turns about the corners so that it. . . .

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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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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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Constructing Triangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Generate three random numbers to determine the side lengths of a triangle. What triangles can you draw?

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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?