Age 14 to 18
Challenge Level


stemNRICH : Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics enriched



Welcome to bioNRICH: the biology section of stemNRICH. This contains mathematical activities for students aged 14 - 19 designed to complement and enhance the study of biology.


Area of biological Maths Style Question Description
Basic maths in biology Big and Small Numbers in Biology 10 individual questions using numbers big and small to calculate or estimate various quantities in simple biological contexts.
Measurement and estimation   Bird-brained Estimate how many eggs a bird should lay to maximise the number of chicks that will hatch in this introduction to optimisation. 
Graphs and equations What biological processes might fit onto these graphs? What units and axes would be relevant? What functions would describe the graphs?
Drug Stabiliser
How does the half-life of a drug affect the build up of medication in the body over time?
Statistics in biology      
Very Old Man Is it likely someone could have lived to 200 years old? Use statistics to investigate.
Chi-squared Faker How could you massage this $\chi^2$-squared test to reject the hypothesis?
Moles and molarity See also the Moles and Molarity section on the chemNRICH pages
Mixed Up Mixture A standard calibration for a spectrophotometric assay for lysozyme was performed and the data tabulated. The data have become mixed up. Can you reassemble it using the interactive card sorter?
Dilutions See also the Dilutions section on the chemNRICH pages
Ratios and Dilutions Scientists often require solutions which are diluted to a particular concentration. In this problem, you can explore the mathematics of simple dilutions.
DNA and Genetics The Genes of Gilgamesh Is it possible to create a genetic stock of the type that the hero Gilgamesh was said to possess?
Why Multiply When You're about to Divide? The Polymerase Chain Reaction is a technique used to amplify the amount of DNA in a sample. Find out how it works here.
Is Your DNA Unique? Use combinatorics to analyse the liklihood of someone sharing your DNA.
Shapes Fitting Flat Shapes Develop your understanding of area by visualising the best way in which you can pack various shapes together most efficiently. Does Nature pack shapes efficiently?
Packing 3D Shapes Can you visualise or sketch the packing of the sorts of 3D shapes which occur in nature?
Advanced mathematics in biology Use differential equations to model the evolution of a system of carnivorous predators and their vegetarian prey.
Prepare for university Get yourself ready for university with these questions and guidance on mathematical biology.
Articles Genetic Intrigue Read this introduction to core topics in genetics.