Suppose you are a bellringer. Can you find the changes so that,
starting and ending with a round, all the 24 possible permutations
are rung once each and only once?
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.
In a league of 5 football teams which play in a round robin
tournament show that it is possible for all five teams to be league
A manager of a forestry company has to decide which trees to plant.
What strategy for planting and felling would you recommend to the
manager in order to maximise the profit?
PhysNRICH is the area of the StemNRICH site devoted to the mathematics underlying the study of physics
Formulate and investigate a simple mathematical model for the design of a table mat.
Is this eco-system sustainable?
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will
not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the
quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
It is possible to identify a particular card out of a pack of 15
with the use of some mathematical reasoning. What is this reasoning
and can it be applied to other numbers of cards?
Use the computer to model an epidemic. Try out public health policies to control the spread of the epidemic, to minimise the number of sick days and deaths.
chemNRICH is the area of the stemNRICH site devoted to the
mathematics underlying the study of chemistry, designed to help
develop the mathematics required to get the most from your study. . . .
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes,
two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus
meet on its way from one end to the other end?
Two buses leave at the same time from two towns Shipton and Veston on the same long road, travelling towards each other. At each mile along the road are milestones. The buses' speeds are constant. . . .
This article for students gives some instructions about how to make some different braids.
Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?
bioNRICH is the area of the stemNRICH site devoted to the
mathematics underlying the study of the biological sciences,
designed to help develop the mathematics required to get the most
from your. . . .
This article for pupils gives an introduction to Celtic knotwork
patterns and a feel for how you can draw them.
This article for students introduces the idea of naming knots using numbers. You'll need some paper and something to write with handy!
Build a scaffold out of drinking-straws to support a cup of water
Can you suggest a curve to fit some experimental data? Can you work out where the data might have come from?
Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .
A brief video explaining the idea of a mathematical knot.
Fancy a game of cricket? Here is a mathematical version you can play indoors without breaking any windows.
Two cyclists, practising on a track, pass each other at the starting line and go at constant speeds... Can you find lap times that are such that the cyclists will meet exactly half way round the. . . .
Investigate circuits and record your findings in this simple introduction to truth tables and logic.
The builders have dug a hole in the ground to be filled with concrete for the foundations of our garage. How many cubic metres of ready-mix concrete should the builders order to fill this hole to. . . .
Sometime during every hour the minute hand lies directly above the hour hand. At what time between 4 and 5 o'clock does this happen?
First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like
to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...
Learn about the link between logical arguments and electronic circuits. Investigate the logical connectives by making and testing your own circuits and record your findings in truth tables.
Every day at noon a boat leaves Le Havre for New York while another
boat leaves New York for Le Havre. The ocean crossing takes seven
days. How many boats will each boat cross during their journey?
Basic strategy games are particularly suitable as starting points
for investigations. Players instinctively try to discover a winning
strategy, and usually the best way to do this is to analyse. . . .
Christmas trees are planted in a rectangular array of 10 rows and
12 columns. The farmer chooses the shortest tree in each of the
columns... the tallest tree from each of the rows ... Which is. . . .
This month there is a Friday the thirteenth and this year there are three. Can you explain why every year must contain at least one Friday the thirteenth?
The King showed the Princess a map of the maze and the Princess was
allowed to decide which room she would wait in. She was not allowed
to send a copy to her lover who would have to guess which path. . . .
Learn about the link between logical arguments and electronic circuits. Investigate the logical connectives by making and testing your own circuits and fill in the blanks in truth tables to record. . . .
32 x 38 = 30 x 40 + 2 x 8; 34 x 36 = 30 x 40 + 4 x 6; 56 x 54 = 50
x 60 + 6 x 4; 73 x 77 = 70 x 80 + 3 x 7 Verify and generalise if
What is the shape and dimensions of a box that will contain six cups and have as small a surface area as possible.
In this article for teachers, Alan Parr looks at ways that
mathematics teaching and learning can start from the useful and
interesting things can we do with the subject, including. . . .
You have two bags, four red balls and four white balls. You must
put all the balls in the bags although you are allowed to have one
bag empty. How should you distribute the balls between the two. . . .
What shapes should Elly cut out to make a witch's hat? How can she make a taller hat?
The triathlon is a physically gruelling challenge. Can you work out which athlete burnt the most calories?
How does the time of dawn and dusk vary? What about the Moon, how does that change from night to night? Is the Sun always the same? Gather data to help you explore these questions.
At Holborn underground station there is a very long escalator. Two
people are in a hurry and so climb the escalator as it is moving
upwards, thus adding their speed to that of the moving steps. . . .
Simple models which help us to investigate how epidemics grow and die out.
Your school has been left a million pounds in the will of an ex-
pupil. What model of investment and spending would you use in order
to ensure the best return on the money?
To win on a scratch card you have to uncover three numbers that add
up to more than fifteen. What is the probability of winning a
This article explores ths history of theories about the shape of our planet. It is the first in a series of articles looking at the significance of geometric shapes in the history of astronomy.