Exploring and Noticing Structure

Exploring and Noticing Structure is part of our Working Mathematically collection.

Calendar Capers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Choose any three by three square of dates on a calendar page...

Have You Got It?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Summing Consecutive Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?

What's Possible?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

Marbles in a Box

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?

Attractive Tablecloths

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?

1 Step 2 Step

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?

Pick's Theorem

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.

Polite Numbers

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A polite number can be written as the sum of two or more consecutive positive integers. Find the consecutive sums giving the polite numbers 544 and 424. What characterizes impolite numbers?

Pair Products

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

Tilted Squares

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?

Painted Cube

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?

Arithmagons

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

Odds and Evens

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Is this a fair game? How many ways are there of creating a fair game by adding odd and even numbers?

Route to Infinity

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

Odd One Out

Age 16 to 18 Short Challenge Level:

In this short problem, can you deduce the likely location of the odd ones out in six sets of random numbers?

Road Maker

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Which of these roads will satisfy a Munchkin builder?

Impossible Triangles?

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Which of these triangular jigsaws are impossible to finish?

Interactive Spinners

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Pattern Recognition

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

When does a pattern start to exhibit structure? Can you crack the code used by the computer?

Keep it Simple

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

Fix Me or Crush Me

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you make matrices which will fix one lucky vector and crush another to zero?

Cyclic Quadrilaterals

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?

Shifting Times Tables

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you find a way to identify times tables after they have been shifted up?

Charlie's Delightful Machine

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Here is a machine with four coloured lights. Can you develop a strategy to work out the rules controlling each light?

What Numbers Can We Make?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Vector Journeys

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Charlie likes to go for walks around a square park, while Alison likes to cut across diagonally. Can you find relationships between the vectors they walk along?

Magic Letters

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

Seven Squares

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?

Simply Graphs

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Look for the common features in these graphs. Which graphs belong together?

Exploring and Noticing Structure - Short Problems

Age 11 to 16

A collection of short Stage 3 and 4 problems on Exploring and Noticing Structure.