This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16
pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these
pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Sally and Ben were drawing shapes in chalk on the school playground. Can you work out what shapes each of them drew using the clues?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
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?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network
following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with
any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
What do you notice about the date 03.06.09? Or 08.01.09? This
challenge invites you to investigate some interesting dates
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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?
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.
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?
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
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!
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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.
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!
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
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
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?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the
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?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different
ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
How many different journeys could you make if you were going to visit four stations in this network? How about if there were five stations? Can you predict the number of journeys for seven stations?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are
palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand
face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he
had just finished spelling. How did this work?