What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
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?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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.
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds
leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each
other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return,
400. . . .
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.
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?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
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. . . .
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?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
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?
A game for 2 players
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller
circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
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.
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?
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of
the first six cube numbers?
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
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.
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. . . .
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. . . .
Which hexagons tessellate?
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. . . .
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there
cannot be more than three acute angles.
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?
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?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to
explain why this is possible.
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9,
12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
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. . . .
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