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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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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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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?

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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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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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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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Around and Back

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

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. . . .

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Tessellating Hexagons

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

Is it true that any convex hexagon will tessellate if it has a pair of opposite sides that are equal, and three adjacent angles that add up to 360 degrees?

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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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Bang's Theorem

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If all the faces of a tetrahedron have the same perimeter then show that they are all congruent.

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One Out One Under

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

Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top, put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you predict the last card?

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Masterclass Ideas: Visualising

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

A package contains a set of resources designed to develop pupils' mathematical thinking. This package places a particular emphasis on “visualising” and is designed to meet the needs. . . .

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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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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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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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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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Fermat's Poser

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

Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners) of a given triangle is a minimum.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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How Many Dice?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .

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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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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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Cuboids

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

Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Jam

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

A game for 2 players

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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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Charting Success

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

Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?

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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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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.

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Corridors

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

A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite corner.

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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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All Tied Up

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

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?

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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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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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Trice

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

ABCDEFGH is a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. Point P is 1/3 along AB (that is AP : PB = 1 : 2), point Q is 1/3 along GH and point R is 1/3 along ED. What is the area of the triangle PQR?

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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?