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.
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.
The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?
I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?
A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will be produced using different wheels?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
This article is based on some of the ideas that emerged during the production of a book which takes visualising as its focus. We began to identify problems which helped us to take a structured view. . . .
If you can post the triangle with either the blue or yellow colour face up, how many ways can it be posted altogether?
These points all mark the vertices (corners) of ten hidden squares. Can you find the 10 hidden squares?
Billy's class had a robot called Fred who could draw with chalk held underneath him. What shapes did the pupils make Fred draw?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this sports car?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these convex shapes?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this goat and giraffe?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th mark?
Take it in turns to place a domino on the grid. One to be placed horizontally and the other vertically. Can you make it impossible for your opponent to play?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the rocket?
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of activities required to develop this thinking.
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or ruling lines.
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
Here are shadows of some 3D shapes. What shapes could have made them?
Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the watering can and man in a boat?
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
A shape and space game for 2,3 or 4 players. Be the last person to be able to place a pentomino piece on the playing board. Play with card, or on the computer.
Each of the nets of nine solid shapes has been cut into two pieces. Can you see which pieces go together?
Can you arrange the shapes in a chain so that each one shares a face (or faces) that are the same shape as the one that follows it?
Can you cut a regular hexagon into two pieces to make a parallelogram? Try cutting it into three pieces to make a rhombus!
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
A hundred square has been printed on both sides of a piece of paper. What is on the back of 100? 58? 23? 19?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
Can you work out what is wrong with the cogs on a UK 2 pound coin?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?
A game for 2 players. Given a board of dots in a grid pattern, players take turns drawing a line by connecting 2 adjacent dots. Your goal is to complete more squares than your opponent.
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .