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?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
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?
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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.
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
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?
A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z
coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that
cannot be made? How do you know?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
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.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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 find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?
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?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?