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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Visualising

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Jam

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

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

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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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Changing Places

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .

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Inside Out

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

There are 27 small cubes in a 3 x 3 x 3 cube, 54 faces being visible at any one time. Is it possible to reorganise these cubes so that by dipping the large cube into a pot of paint three times you. . . .

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Tilting Triangles

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

A right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the square covered by the triangle as it rotates?

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Square it for Two

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

Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?

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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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Triangles Within Squares

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

Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?

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Rotating Triangle

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

What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?

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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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Just Rolling Round

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

P is a point on the circumference of a circle radius r which rolls, without slipping, inside a circle of radius 2r. What is the locus of P?

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Hypotenuse Lattice Points

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

The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?

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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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Triangles Within Triangles

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?

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The Triangle Game

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

Can you discover whether this is a fair game?

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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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Square It

Stage: 1, 2, 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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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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Cubic Net

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

This is an interactive net of a Rubik's cube. Twists of the 3D cube become mixes of the squares on the 2D net. Have a play and see how many scrambles you can undo!

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Lost on Alpha Prime

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

On the 3D grid a strange (and deadly) animal is lurking. Using the tracking system can you locate this creature as quickly as possible?

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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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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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Picture Story

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

Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?

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Bendy Quad

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

Four rods are hinged at their ends to form a convex quadrilateral. Investigate the different shapes that the quadrilateral can take. Be patient this problem may be slow to load.

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A Tilted Square

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

The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?

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Yih or Luk Tsut K'i or Three Men's Morris

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

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. . . .

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Natural Sum

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .

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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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Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Buses

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

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?

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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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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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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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Proximity

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

We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.

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Coordinate Patterns

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

Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?

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Bands and Bridges: Bringing Topology Back

Stage: 2 and 3

Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Seven Squares

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

Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?

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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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Floating in Space

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

Two angles ABC and PQR are floating in a box so that AB//PQ and BC//QR. Prove that the two angles are equal.