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

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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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Partially Painted Cube

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

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?

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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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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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Cuboid Challenge

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

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

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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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Spotting the Loophole

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A visualisation problem in which you search for vectors which sum to zero from a jumble of arrows. Will your eyes be quicker than algebra?

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Can You Explain Why?

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

Can you explain why it is impossible to construct this triangle?

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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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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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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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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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Square Coordinates

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

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?

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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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Efficient Cutting

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

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.

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Fence It

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

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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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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. . . .

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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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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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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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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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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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Seven Squares - Group-worthy Task

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

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?

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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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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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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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John's Train Is on Time

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

A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?

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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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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?

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Triangles to Tetrahedra

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

Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can you make? Convince us you have found them all.

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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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Turning Triangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A triangle ABC resting on a horizontal line is "rolled" along the line. Describe the paths of each of the vertices and the relationships between them and the original triangle.

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Nine Colours

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

You have 27 small cubes, 3 each of nine colours. Use the small cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of every colour.

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One and Three

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

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. . . .

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Doesn't Add Up

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

In this problem we are faced with an apparently easy area problem, but it has gone horribly wrong! What happened?

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Is There a Theorem?

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

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?

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Qqq..cubed

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

It is known that the area of the largest equilateral triangular section of a cube is 140sq cm. What is the side length of the cube? The distances between the centres of two adjacent faces of. . . .

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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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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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Double Trouble

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...

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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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Charting More 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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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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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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Introducing NRICH TWILGO

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

We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?

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Bent Out of Shape

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

An introduction to bond angle geometry.

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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...?