Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
How many different journeys could you make if you were going to visit four stations in this network? How about if there were five stations? Can you predict the number of journeys for seven stations?
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.
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable.
Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which
seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the
foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they
usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many
altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these
three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in
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.
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight
from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by
99 square board?
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with
a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a
layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
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?
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Can you explain how this card trick works?
A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.
In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a
surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces
(top, bottom, front and back) is equal?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 into the squares so that the
numbers on each circle add up to the same amount. Can you find the
rule for giving another set of six numbers?
A game for 2 players with similaritlies to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
Use two dice to generate two numbers with one decimal place. What happens when you round these numbers to the nearest whole number?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
Watch this video to see how to roll the dice. Now it's your turn! What do you notice about the dice numbers you have recorded?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?