Maths and the Olympics - January 2012, All Stages

At the start of this Olympic year, here is a collection of resources which show that maths is indeed to be found in many different aspects of sporting events!

Problems

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The Animals' Sports Day

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

One day five small animals in my garden were going to have a sports day. They decided to have a swimming race, a running race, a high jump and a long jump.

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Olympic Rings

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

This problem is intended to get children to look really hard at something they will see many times in the next few months.

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The Games' Medals

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

Can you see who the gold medal winner is? What about the silver medal winner and the bronze medal winner?

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National Flags

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This problem explores the shapes and symmetries in some national flags.

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Our Sports

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This problem explores the range of events in a sports day and which ones are the most popular and attract the most entries.

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Going for Gold

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Looking at the 2008 Olympic Medal table, can you see how the data is organised? Could the results be presented differently to give another nation the top place?

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Medal Muddle

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Countries from across the world competed in a sports tournament. Can you devise an efficient strategy to work out the order in which they finished?

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The Olympic Flame: Are You in the 95%?

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

95% of people in Britain should live within 10 miles of the route of the Olympic Torch tour. Is this true?

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Triathlon and Fitness

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

The triathlon is a physically gruelling challenge. Can you work out which athlete burnt the most calories?

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Charting More Success

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

Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?

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Speed-time Problems at the Olympics

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to race against Usain Bolt?

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The Olympic Torch Tour

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

Imagine you had to plan the tour for the Olympic Torch. Is there an efficient way of choosing the shortest possible route?

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10 Olympic Starters

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

10 intriguing starters related to the mechanics of sport.

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Drug Testing

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How do different drug-testing regimes affect the risks and payoffs for an athlete who chooses to take drugs?

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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?