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?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images help to explain this?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
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?
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up with the same arrangement?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
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.
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?
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
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?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
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?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
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 moves.
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.
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.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
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?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just like the one I have here?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
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.
Compare the numbers of particular tiles in one or all of these three designs, inspired by the floor tiles of a church in Cambridge.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
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?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?