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Challenge level: Challenge Level:1 Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:3

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Working systematically

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Ice Cream

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

You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.

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Street Party

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.

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Halloween Investigation

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?

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Calcunos

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

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

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Newspapers

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

When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?

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3 Rings

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?

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Room Doubling

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

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

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Two Dots

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.

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Cubes Here and There

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Building with Rods

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

In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?

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Watch Your Feet

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

I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you find for me to take?

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Eight Queens

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

Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.

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Tiles on a Patio

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

How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?

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Ribbon Squares

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

What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?

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Torn Shapes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have inside it before it was ripped?

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Uncanny Triangles

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

Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?

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Cover the Tray

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

These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.

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My New Patio

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

What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?

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Make Pairs

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

Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the rules.

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Sticks and Triangles

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

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?

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Snails' Trails

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?

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Arranging the Tables

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

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.

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Six Is the Sum

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

What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?

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Is a Square a Rectangle?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are differently sized and which are 'similar'?

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Calendar Cubes

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

Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.

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Factor Lines

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

Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.

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Tri.'s

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?

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Symmetry Challenge

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

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.

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Adding Plus

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

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?

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Plate Spotting

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

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?

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Ancient Runes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works using the table of the alphabet?

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Palindromic Date

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

What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are palindromic if the date is written in the British way?

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Egyptian Rope

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

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?

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Seven Pots of Plants

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

There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.

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Multiples Grid

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

What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?

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All the Digits

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

This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?

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The Pet Graph

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the animal names under each column in the block graph using the information?

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Mystery Matrix

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

Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.

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1 to 8

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.

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Two on Five

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?

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It Figures

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

Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?

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Pasta Timing

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?

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5 on the Clock

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

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?

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Making Squares

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

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?

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Stairs

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

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

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!

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Octa Space

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

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?

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Pouring the Punch Drink

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

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 jugs.

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Bean Bags for Bernard's Bag

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

How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?

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Wonky Watches

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

Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the real time) they arrived at the airport.