This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
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.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
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?
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .
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?
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums?
1/2 + 2/1 =
2/3 + 3/2 =
3/4 + 4/3 =
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
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.
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. . . .
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
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.
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
This challenge encourages you to explore dividing a three-digit number by a single-digit number.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat?
How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number
of points each of their routes scores.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
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.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
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?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
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?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .
The diagram shows a 5 by 5 geoboard with 25 pins set out in a square array. Squares are made by stretching rubber bands round specific pins. What is the total number of squares that can be made on a. . . .