Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What
number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to
dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
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?
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.
Ben’s class were making cutting up number tracks. First they
cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What
patterns could they see?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
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 the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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.
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
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
Can you explain how this card trick works?
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the
strategy for winning this game with any target?
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
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 work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of
each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to
be 6kg? What other averages could you have?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Find the sum of all three-digit numbers each of whose digits is
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she
does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are
the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
A collection of games on the NIM theme
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
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
Start with two numbers. This is the start of a sequence. The next
number is the average of the last two numbers. Continue the
sequence. What will happen if you carry on for ever?