You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier
than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two
weighings of the balance?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?
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?
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
This Sudoku, based on differences. Using the one clue number can you find the solution?
An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles.
Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4,
5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?
Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an
unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can
you make? Convince us you have found them all.
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do
you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which
bell to ring?
Can you use your powers of logic and deduction to work out the missing information in these sporty situations?
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the
site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to
develop the skills of strategic planning.
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
A pair of Sudoku puzzles that together lead to a complete solution.
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?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Bellringers have a special way to write down the patterns they
ring. Learn about these patterns and draw some of your own.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
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.
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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.
Four small numbers give the clue to the contents of the four
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now
it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know
when it is your turn to ring?
Can you coach your rowing eight to win?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Find out about Magic Squares in this article written for students. Why are they magic?!
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?
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in
diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of
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?
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
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?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
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?
A particular technique for solving Sudoku puzzles, known as "naked pair", is explained in this easy-to-read article.
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?
Countries from across the world competed in a sports tournament. Can you devise an efficient strategy to work out the order in which they finished?
Arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 so that between the two 1's
there is one digit, between the two 2's there are two digits, and
between the two 3's there are three digits.
A Sudoku with a twist.
In this Sudoku, there are three coloured "islands" in the 9x9 grid. Within each "island" EVERY group of nine cells that form a 3x3 square must contain the numbers 1 through 9.
This is a variation of sudoku which contains a set of special clue-numbers. Each set of 4 small digits stands for the numbers in the four cells of the grid adjacent to this set.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
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?
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.
Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the
pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it
done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
A Latin square of order n is an array of n symbols in which each symbol occurs exactly once in each row and exactly once in each column.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.