A mathematician goes into a supermarket and buys four items. Using
a calculator she multiplies the cost instead of adding them. How
can her answer be the same as the total at the till?
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99
How many ways can you do it?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
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?
Whenever a monkey has peaches, he always keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long could he make his peaches last for?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2
litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to
another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of
plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in
each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter
of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to
Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a
maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a
total of 15!
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.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
On my calculator I divided one whole number by another whole number and got the answer 3.125. If the numbers are both under 50, what are they?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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?
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?
The discs for this game are kept in a flat square box with a square
hole for each disc. Use the information to find out how many discs
of each colour there are in the box.
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square
tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using
all 15 tables, with no empty places.
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
Arrange 3 red, 3 blue and 3 yellow counters into a three-by-three square grid, so that there is only one of each colour in every row and every column
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape
of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get
from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?
In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next
to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M.
What order were they in?
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and
multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the
difference between these products. Why?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many
times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock
over a whole day?
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be
created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square
lattice paper to record your results.
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.