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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Generalising

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Games Related to Nim

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

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.

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Adding in Rows

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Take Three from Five

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Cubes Within Cubes Revisited

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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What Numbers Can We Make?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

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Tourism

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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.

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What Numbers Can We Make Now?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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

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Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Steel Cables

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Semi-square

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?

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AMGM

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?

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Special Sums and Products

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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.

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Repeaters

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Areas of Parallelograms

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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

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Card Trick 2

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you explain how this card trick works?

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What's Possible?

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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

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Where Can We Visit?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Hypotenuse Lattice Points

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Picturing Triangle Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Make 37

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Jam

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A game for 2 players

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Sliding Puzzle

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Elevenses

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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Mystic Rose

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.

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Christmas Chocolates

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

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Generating Triples

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Partitioning Revisited

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Multiplication Square

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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

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Konigsberg Plus

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Winning Lines

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

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

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Chocolate 2010

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...

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Sums of Pairs

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?”

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Arithmagons

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

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Pair Products

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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Three Times Seven

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

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Maths Trails

Stage: 2 and 3

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.

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Jam

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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

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Cunning Card Trick

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?

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Have You Got It?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

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Chess

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Nim-7

Stage: 1, 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

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Mindreader

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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. . . .

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Building Gnomons

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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

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A Tilted Square

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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

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One O Five

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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. . . .

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Square Pizza

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Janine's Conjecture

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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. . . .

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Pinned Squares

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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. . . .

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More Number Pyramids

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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

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Magic Squares

Stage: 4 and 5

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