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. . . .
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?
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the
patterns of play are similar.
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
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. . . .
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
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
On the 3D grid a strange (and deadly) animal is lurking. Using the tracking system can you locate this creature as quickly as possible?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
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!
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.
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.
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.
Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small
cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?
A game for 2 players
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Two intersecting circles have a common chord AB. The point C moves
on the circumference of the circle C1. The straight lines CA and CB
meet the circle C2 at E and F respectively. As the point C. . . .
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
A bicycle passes along a path and leaves some tracks. Is it
possible to say which track was made by the front wheel and which
by the back wheel?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?
A cube is made from smaller cubes, 5 by 5 by 5, then some of those
cubes are removed. Can you make the specified shapes, and what is
the most and least number of cubes required ?
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they
will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?
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?
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to
explain why this is possible.
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Glarsynost lives on a planet whose shape is that of a perfect
regular dodecahedron. Can you describe the shortest journey she can
make to ensure that she will see every part of the planet?
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?
A visualisation problem in which you search for vectors which sum
to zero from a jumble of arrows. Will your eyes be quicker than
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and
reasoning to agree a final product.
Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
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 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?
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?
A ribbon runs around a box so that it makes a complete loop with two parallel pieces of ribbon on the top. How long will the ribbon be?
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .
Use a single sheet of A4 paper and make a cylinder having the greatest possible volume. The cylinder must be closed off by a circle at each end.
Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?
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?
The reader is invited to investigate changes (or permutations) in the ringing of church bells, illustrated by braid diagrams showing the order in which the bells are rung.
A circular plate rolls in contact with the sides of a rectangular
tray. How much of its circumference comes into contact with the
sides of the tray when it rolls around one circuit?
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
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.