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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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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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Wag Worms

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

When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.

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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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Fencing Lambs

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.

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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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3 Sets of Cubes, 2 Surfaces

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

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

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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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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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Four Colours

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

Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.

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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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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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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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More and More Buckets

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

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?

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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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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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Shaping Up

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

Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?

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Tiling

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.

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Polo Square

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

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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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Cereal Packets

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

How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?

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Dodecamagic

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

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?

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Route Product

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

Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?

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The Third Dimension

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?

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One to Fifteen

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?

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Putting Two and Two Together

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Geoboards

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

This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.

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The Moons of Vuvv

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?

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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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Seating Arrangements

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.

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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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Team Scream

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

Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with each of the others. What was the total number rides?

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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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Shunting Puzzle

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

Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?

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Single Track

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

What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?

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Knight's Swap

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?

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Waiting for Blast Off

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

10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?

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Map Folding

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

Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold it up?

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Two Egg Timers

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

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?

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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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Plates of Biscuits

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

Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?

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Chocs, Mints, Jellies

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Prison Cells

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

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?

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A Square of Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?

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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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Whose Face?

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

These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.

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Rabbits in the Pen

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

Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?

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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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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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Making Boxes

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

Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?