An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

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.

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The loser is the player who takes the last counter.

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

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.

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.

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.

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.

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?

We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4

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?”

The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

Show that for any triangle it is always possible to construct 3 touching circles with centres at the vertices. Is it possible to construct touching circles centred at the vertices of any polygon?

The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

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. . . .

An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.

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.

Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?

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. . . .

Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

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. . . .

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 continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.

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.

Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?

Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?

What is the volume of the solid formed by rotating this right angled triangle about the hypotenuse?

Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?

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.

Investigate sequences given by $a_n = \frac{1+a_{n-1}}{a_{n-2}}$ for different choices of the first two terms. Make a conjecture about the behaviour of these sequences. Can you prove your conjecture?

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?

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.