A combination mechanism for a safe comprises thirty-two tumblers
numbered from one to thirty-two in such a way that the numbers in
each wheel total 132... Could you open the safe?
Investigate $1^n + 19^n + 20^n + 51^n + 57^n + 80^n + 82^n $ and $2^n + 12^n + 31^n + 40^n + 69^n + 71^n + 85^n$ for different values of n.
This challenge is to make up YOUR OWN alphanumeric. Each letter
represents a digit and where the same letter appears more than once
it must represent the same digit each time.
Whenever two chameleons of different colours meet they change
colour to the third colour. Describe the shortest sequence of
meetings in which all the chameleons change to green if you start
with 12. . . .
Can you arrange the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 into three 3-digit
numbers such that their total is close to 1500?
When I type a sequence of letters my calculator gives the product
of all the numbers in the corresponding memories. What numbers
should I store so that when I type 'ONE' it returns 1, and when I
type. . . .
There are exactly 3 ways to add 4 odd numbers to get 10. Find all
the ways of adding 8 odd numbers to get 20. To be sure of getting
all the solutions you will need to be systematic. What about. . . .
How can we help students make sense of addition and subtraction of negative numbers?
What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to
The sum of the first 'n' natural numbers is a 3 digit number in which all the digits are the same. How many numbers have been summed?
This group activity will encourage you to share calculation
strategies and to think about which strategy might be the most
This number has 903 digits. What is the sum of all 903 digits?
Amy has a box containing domino pieces but she does not think it is a complete set. She has 24 dominoes in her box and there are 125 spots on them altogether. Which of her domino pieces are missing?
On the table there is a pile of oranges and lemons that weighs
exactly one kilogram. Using the information, can you work out how
many lemons there are?
Use 4 four times with simple operations so that you get the answer 12. Can you make 15, 16 and 17 too?
Rocco ran in a 200 m race for his class. Use the information to
find out how many runners there were in the race and what Rocco's
finishing position was.
On a calculator, make 15 by using only the 2 key and any of the
four operations keys. How many ways can you find to do it?
Peter, Melanie, Amil and Jack received a total of 38 chocolate
eggs. Use the information to work out how many eggs each person
What is the largest number you can make using the three digits 2, 3
and 4 in any way you like, using any operations you like? You can
only use each digit once.
Bernard Bagnall recommends some primary school problems which use
numbers from the environment around us, from clocks to house
Put operations signs between the numbers 3 4 5 6 to make the highest possible number and lowest possible number.
Find out what a Deca Tree is and then work out how many leaves
there will be after the woodcutter has cut off a trunk, a branch, a
twig and a leaf.
There are three buckets each of which holds a maximum of 5 litres.
Use the clues to work out how much liquid there is in each bucket.
Fill in the missing numbers so that adding each pair of corner
numbers gives you the number between them (in the box).
Fill in the numbers to make the sum of each row, column and
diagonal equal to 34. For an extra challenge try the huge American
Flag magic square.
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now
multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what
The clockmaker's wife cut up his birthday cake to look like a clock
face. Can you work out who received each piece?
Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange
the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
Number problems at primary level to work on with others.
Number problems at primary level that require careful consideration.
Number problems at primary level that may require determination.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and
multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the
difference between these products. Why?
This task combines spatial awareness with addition and multiplication.
Skippy and Anna are locked in a room in a large castle. The key to that room, and all the other rooms, is a number. The numbers are locked away in a problem. Can you help them to get out?
What happens when you add the digits of a number then multiply the
result by 2 and you keep doing this? You could try for different
numbers and different rules.
If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many
sheep there are in each field.
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more
than way to do it?
The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?
Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number
system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a
look at the multiplications table.
Use the information to work out how many gifts there are in each
What is happening at each box in these machines?
Where can you draw a line on a clock face so that the numbers on
both sides have the same total?
This article gives you a few ideas for understanding the Got It! game and how you might find a winning strategy.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
Here are the prices for 1st and 2nd class mail within the UK. You have an unlimited number of each of these stamps. Which stamps would you need to post a parcel weighing 825g?
The Scot, John Napier, invented these strips about 400 years ago to
help calculate multiplication and division. Can you work out how to
use Napier's bones to find the answer to these multiplications?