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Broad Topics > Probability > Probability

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Which Spinners?

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

Can you work out which spinners were used to generate the frequency charts?

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Interactive Spinners

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

This interactivity invites you to make conjectures and explore probabilities of outcomes related to two independent events.

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Scale Invariance

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

By exploring the concept of scale invariance, find the probability that a random piece of real data begins with a 1.

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Distribution Maker

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This tool allows you to create custom-specified random numbers, such as the total on three dice.

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In a Box

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

Chris and Jo put two red and four blue ribbons in a box. They each pick a ribbon from the box without looking. Jo wins if the two ribbons are the same colour. Is the game fair?

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Red or Black Spinner

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

A simple spinner that is equally likely to land on Red or Black. Useful if tossing a coin, dropping it, and rummaging about on the floor have lost their appeal. Needs a modern browser; if IE then at. . . .

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Non-transitive Dice

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

Alison and Charlie are playing a game. Charlie wants to go first so Alison lets him. Was that such a good idea?

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Twenty20

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

Fancy a game of cricket? Here is a mathematical version you can play indoors without breaking any windows.

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All Change

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

There are three versions of this challenge. The idea is to change the colour of all the spots on the grid. Can you do it in fewer throws of the dice?

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Any Win for Tennis?

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

What are your chances of winning a game of tennis?

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What's the Point of Squash?

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Under which circumstances would you choose to play to 10 points in a game of squash which is currently tied at 8-all?

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Dicey Decisions

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you devise a fair scoring system when dice land edge-up or corner-up?

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Why Do People Find Probability Unintuitive and Difficult?

Stage: 2, 3, 4 and 5

Uncertain about the likelihood of unexpected events? You are not alone!

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Progression in Primary Probability

Stage: 1 and 2

The beginnings of understanding probability begin much earlier than you might think...

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An Introduction to Tree Diagrams

Stage: 3 and 4

This article explains how tree diagrams are constructed and helps you to understand how they can be used to calculate probabilities.

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Probable Words

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If you asked your mum/dad/friend to take you to the park today, what sort of response might you get?

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Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Some people offer advice on how to win at games of chance, or how to influence probability in your favour. Can you decide whether advice is good or not?

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Stage 5 Cipher Challenge

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you crack these very difficult challenge ciphers? How might you systematise the cracking of unknown ciphers?

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The Hair Colour Game

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

The class were playing a maths game using interlocking cubes. Can you help them record what happened?

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Discussing Risk and Reward

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

10 starting points for risk vs reward

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Dicey Dice

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Invent a set of three dice where each one is better than one of the others?

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Perfect Eclipse

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

Use trigonometry to determine whether solar eclipses on earth can be perfect.

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Is Your DNA Unique?

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Use combinatoric probabilities to work out the probability that you are genetically unique!

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Heavy Hydrocarbons

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Explore the distribution of molecular masses for various hydrocarbons

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The Wrong Stats

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Why MUST these statistical statements probably be at least a little bit wrong?

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Introducing Distributions

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

When five dice are rolled together which do you expect to see more often, no sixes or all sixes ?

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From A Random World to a Rational Universe

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

In the time before the mathematical idea of randomness was discovered, people thought that everything that happened was part of the will of supernatural beings. So have things changed?

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Coin Lines

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

If a coin rolls and lands on a set of concentric circles what is the chance that the coin touches a line ?

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How Random!

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

Explore this interactivity and see if you can work out what it does. Could you use it to estimate the area of a shape?

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Misunderstanding Randomness

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

Which of these ideas about randomness are actually correct?

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Can't Find a Coin?

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

Can you generate a set of random results? Can you fool the random simulator?

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Three Spinners

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

These red, yellow and blue spinners were each spun 45 times in total. Can you work out which numbers are on each spinner?

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The Random World

Stage: 3, 4 and 5

Think that a coin toss is 50-50 heads or tails? Read on to appreciate the ever-changing and random nature of the world in which we live.

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Count the Beat

Stage: 1 and 2

This article, written by Nicky Goulder and Samantha Lodge, reveals how maths and marimbas can go hand-in-hand! Why not try out some of the musical maths activities in your own classroom?

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396

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The four digits 5, 6, 7 and 8 are put at random in the spaces of the number : 3 _ 1 _ 4 _ 0 _ 9 2 Calculate the probability that the answer will be a multiple of 396.

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Con Tricks

Stage: 3

Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.

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Game of PIG - Ones

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Play a dice game of chance

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Game of PIG - Sixes

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

Can you beat Piggy in this simple dice game? Can you figure out Piggy's strategy, and is there a better one?

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Scissors, Paper, Rock

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Play this well-known game against the computer where each player is equally likely to choose scissors, paper or rock. Why not try the variations too?

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Stop or Dare

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

All you need for this game is a pack of cards. While you play the game, think about strategies that will increase your chances of winning.

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Racing Odds

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In a race the odds are: 2 to 1 against the rhinoceros winning and 3 to 2 against the hippopotamus winning. What are the odds against the elephant winning if the race is fair?

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Squaring the Circle

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

Bluey-green, white and transparent squares with a few odd bits of shapes around the perimeter. But, how many squares are there of each type in the complete circle? Study the picture and make. . . .

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Nines and Tens

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

Explain why it is that when you throw two dice you are more likely to get a score of 9 than of 10. What about the case of 3 dice? Is a score of 9 more likely then a score of 10 with 3 dice?

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A Dicey Paradox

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

Four fair dice are marked differently on their six faces. Choose first ANY one of them. I can always choose another that will give me a better chance of winning. Investigate.

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The Lady or the Lions

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

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. . . .

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Scratch Cards

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

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 prize?

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Fixing the Odds

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

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. . . .

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Win or Lose?

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

A gambler bets half the money in his pocket on the toss of a coin, winning an equal amount for a head and losing his money if the result is a tail. After 2n plays he has won exactly n times. Has. . . .