In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and
find their angles?
How many different triangles can you draw on the dotty grid which each have one dot in the middle?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
Vincent and Tara are making triangles with the class construction set. They have a pile of strips of different lengths. How many different triangles can they make?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles
using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What
other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles
together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can
be fitted together?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are
you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of
sticks that make the most triangles?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?
Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the
next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next
hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What
are the possible paths you could take?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
Can you make a train the same length as Laura's but using three differently coloured rods? Is there only one way of doing it?
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be
removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to
remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?
There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there
is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How
about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the
sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help
you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.
My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have
forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an
8. How many possible combinations are there to try?