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?
What is the remainder when 2^2002 is divided by 7? What happens
with different powers of 2?
The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find
the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the
first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .
Twice a week I go swimming and swim the same number of lengths of the pool each time. As I swim, I count the lengths I've done so far, and make it into a fraction of the whole number of lengths I. . . .
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.
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.
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. . . .
Here is a Sudoku with a difference! Use information about lowest common multiples to help you solve it.
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?
A collection of resources to support work on Factors and Multiples at Secondary level.
Each letter represents a different positive digit
AHHAAH / JOKE = HA
What are the values of each of the letters?
You are given the Lowest Common Multiples of sets of digits. Find
the digits and then solve the Sudoku.
Here is a machine with four coloured lights. Can you develop a strategy to work out the rules controlling each light?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
The puzzle can be solved by finding the values of the unknown digits (all indicated by asterisks) in the squares of the $9\times9$ grid.
Have you seen this way of doing multiplication ?
Explain why the arithmetic sequence 1, 14, 27, 40, ... contains many terms of the form 222...2 where only the digit 2 appears.
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.
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
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?
Given the products of diagonally opposite cells - can you complete this Sudoku?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Find the smallest positive integer N such that N/2 is a perfect
cube, N/3 is a perfect fifth power and N/5 is a perfect seventh
Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.
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?
Helen made the conjecture that "every multiple of six has more
factors than the two numbers either side of it". Is this conjecture
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.
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the
following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
Consider numbers of the form un = 1! + 2! + 3! +...+n!. How many such numbers are perfect squares?
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.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Find the highest power of 11 that will divide into 1000! exactly.
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?
Can you find any perfect numbers? Read this article to find out more...
How many integers between 1 and 1200 are NOT multiples of any of
the numbers 2, 3 or 5?
Gabriel multiplied together some numbers and then erased them. Can you figure out where each number was?
A student in a maths class was trying to get some information from
her teacher. She was given some clues and then the teacher ended by
saying, "Well, how old are they?"
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?
The number 12 = 2^2 × 3 has 6 factors. What is the smallest natural number with exactly 36 factors?
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
Substitution and Transposition all in one! How fiendish can these codes get?
Can you find a way to identify times tables after they have been shifted up?
Factor track is not a race but a game of skill. The idea is to go round the track in as few moves as possible, keeping to the rules.
Which pairs of cogs let the coloured tooth touch every tooth on the
other cog? Which pairs do not let this happen? Why?
Explore the relationship between simple linear functions and their
Follow this recipe for sieving numbers and see what interesting patterns emerge.
Find the number which has 8 divisors, such that the product of the
divisors is 331776.
Can you work out what size grid you need to read our secret message?
Make a line of green and a line of yellow rods so that the lines
differ in length by one (a white rod)