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

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Advent Calendar 2011 - Secondary

Stage: 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

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Inky Cube

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

This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?

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M, M and M

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?

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Weights

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

Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?

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Consecutive Negative Numbers

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

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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First Connect Three

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

The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?

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Difference Sudoku

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.

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Integrated Product Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This Sudoku puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers on the border lines between pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid.

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Integrated Sums Sudoku

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers which are either placed on the border lines between selected pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid or placed after slash marks on. . . .

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Intersection Sums Sudoku

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.

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Diagonal Sums Sudoku

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.

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Product Sudoku 2

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?

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More Magic Potting Sheds

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

The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?

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Magic Potting Sheds

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

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?

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Product Sudoku

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.

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Warmsnug Double Glazing

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

How have "Warmsnug" arrived at the prices shown on their windows? Which window has been given an incorrect price?

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Squares in Rectangles

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

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

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Ratio Sudoku 1

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A Sudoku with clues as ratios.

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Isosceles Triangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?

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Fence It

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

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Cuboids

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

Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?

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Ben's Game

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

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.

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Peaches Today, Peaches Tomorrow....

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

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?

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Special Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?

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Shady Symmetry

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

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Cinema Problem

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.

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Triangles to Tetrahedra

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

Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?

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Factor Lines

Stage: 2 and 3 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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Shopping Basket

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

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?

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Reach 100

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

Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.

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American Billions

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...

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Number Daisy

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?

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Two and Two

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

How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.

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Where Can We Visit?

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

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

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Summing Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Consecutive Numbers

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

An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.

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First Connect Three for Two

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

First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.

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Olympic Logic

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?

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Troublesome Triangles

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

Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .

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Building with Longer Rods

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

A challenging activity focusing on finding all possible ways of stacking rods.

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Crossing the Town Square

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

This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.

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More Plant Spaces

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

This challenging activity involves finding different ways to distribute fifteen items among four sets, when the sets must include three, four, five and six items.

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More Children and Plants

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

This challenge extends the Plants investigation so now four or more children are involved.

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I've Submitted a Solution - What Next?

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

In this article, the NRICH team describe the process of selecting solutions for publication on the site.

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Introducing NRICH TWILGO

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Bent Out of Shape

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

An introduction to bond angle geometry.

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Difference Dynamics

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Take three whole numbers. The differences between them give you three new numbers. Find the differences between the new numbers and keep repeating this. What happens?

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Sociable Cards

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Move your counters through this snake of cards and see how far you can go. Are you surprised by where you end up?

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Sticky Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

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Rainstorm Sudoku

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Use the clues about the shaded areas to help solve this sudoku