An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Take any two digit number, for example 58. What do you have to do to reverse the order of the digits? Can you find a rule for reversing the order of digits for any two digit number?
Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3
digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits
you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.
List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of
adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain
why and prove it?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a
factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and
16 is a factor of 48.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?
Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
Make a set of numbers that use all the digits from 1 to 9, once and
once only. Add them up. The result is divisible by 9. Add each of
the digits in the new number. What is their sum? Now try some. . . .
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
What is the remainder when 2^2002 is divided by 7? What happens
with different powers of 2?
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
Can you find a way to identify times tables after they have been shifted up?
Four of these clues are needed to find the chosen number on this
grid and four are true but do nothing to help in finding the
number. Can you sort out the clues and find the number?
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.
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?
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that
cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can
make? And the greatest?
Find the words hidden inside each of the circles by counting around
a certain number of spaces to find each letter in turn.
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
What happens if you join every second point on this circle? How
about every third point? Try with different steps and see if you
can predict what will happen.
A collection of resources to support work on Factors and Multiples at Secondary level.
Can you find any perfect numbers? Read this article to find out more...
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
Becky created a number plumber which multiplies by 5 and subtracts
4. What do you notice about the numbers that it produces? Can you
explain your findings?
The number 8888...88M9999...99 is divisible by 7 and it starts with
the digit 8 repeated 50 times and ends with the digit 9 repeated 50
times. What is the value of the digit M?
In this activity, the computer chooses a times table and shifts it. Can you work out the table and the shift each time?
The five digit number A679B, in base ten, is divisible by 72. What
are the values of A and B?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
Here is a machine with four coloured lights. Can you develop a strategy to work out the rules controlling each light?
Given the products of adjacent cells, can you complete this Sudoku?
Can you find a relationship between the number of dots on the
circle and the number of steps that will ensure that all points are
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?
Three people chose this as a favourite problem. It is the sort of
problem that needs thinking time - but once the connection is made
it gives access to many similar ideas.
What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?
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...
This package contains a collection of problems from the NRICH
website that could be suitable for students who have a good
understanding of Factors and Multiples and who feel ready to take
on some. . . .
6! = 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1. The highest power of 2 that divides
exactly into 6! is 4 since (6!) / (2^4 ) = 45. What is the highest
power of two that divides exactly into 100!?
What is the value of the digit A in the sum below: [3(230 + A)]^2 =
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?
Find the number which has 8 divisors, such that the product of the
divisors is 331776.
How many numbers less than 1000 are NOT divisible by either: a) 2
or 5; or b) 2, 5 or 7?
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
I put eggs into a basket in groups of 7 and noticed that I could
easily have divided them into piles of 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 and always
have one left over. How many eggs were in the basket?
Explain why the arithmetic sequence 1, 14, 27, 40, ... contains many terms of the form 222...2 where only the digit 2 appears.