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.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?
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.
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be
on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
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?
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
Arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 so that between the two 1's
there is one digit, between the two 2's there are two digits, and
between the two 3's there are three digits.
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the
site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to
develop the skills of strategic planning.
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
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?
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire
How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?
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?
A package contains a set of resources designed to develop
students’ mathematical thinking. This package places a
particular emphasis on “being systematic” and is
designed to meet. . . .
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.
Alice's mum needs to go to each child's house just once and then
back home again. How many different routes are there? Use the
information to find out how long each road is on the route she
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Use the interactivity to help get a feel for this problem and to find out all the possible ways the balls could land.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
During the third hour after midnight the hands on a clock point in
the same direction (so one hand is over the top of the other). At
what time, to the nearest second, does this happen?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The
clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall
of the prison block. How did he do it?
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way
to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the
kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
Can you fill in the empty boxes in the grid with the right shape
Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more
than one weight on a hook.
Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged
the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same
total. What was the total and how could this be done?
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?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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?
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
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....?
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are
palindromic if the date is written in the British way?