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Challenge level: Challenge Level:1 Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:3

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Visualising

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On the Edge

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

If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?

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Intersecting Circles

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

Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?

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Painted Cube

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

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?

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Picturing Square Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

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Marbles in a Box

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

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

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An Unusual Shape

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

Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?

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Eight Hidden Squares

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

On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden squares?

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Seven Squares - Group-worthy Task

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

Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?

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Route to Infinity

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

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

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Christmas Chocolates

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

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

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Seven Squares

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

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

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Tetra Square

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

ABCD is a regular tetrahedron and the points P, Q, R and S are the midpoints of the edges AB, BD, CD and CA. Prove that PQRS is a square.

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Trice

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

ABCDEFGH is a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. Point P is 1/3 along AB (that is AP : PB = 1 : 2), point Q is 1/3 along GH and point R is 1/3 along ED. What is the area of the triangle PQR?

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3D Stacks

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

Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?

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Three Frogs

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Three frogs hopped onto the table. A red frog on the left a green in the middle and a blue frog on the right. Then frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to. . . .

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Auditorium Steps

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

What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?

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Clocked

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

Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?

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Picturing Triangular Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

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Flight of the Flibbins

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

Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .

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Zooming in on the Squares

Stage: 2 and 3

Start with a large square, join the midpoints of its sides, you'll see four right angled triangles. Remove these triangles, a second square is left. Repeat the operation. What happens?

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Sea Defences

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

These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall and work out a way they might fit together?

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All in the Mind

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

Imagine you are suspending a cube from one vertex (corner) and allowing it to hang freely. Now imagine you are lowering it into water until it is exactly half submerged. What shape does the surface. . . .

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Coloured Edges

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?

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Convex Polygons

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

Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.

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Diagonal Dodge

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

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.

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Pattern Power

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.

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Painting Cubes

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

Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?

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Threesomes

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?

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Tourism

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

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

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Triangles Within Pentagons

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

Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.

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Triangles Within Squares

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

Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?

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Partly Painted Cube

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

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

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Square Coordinates

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

A tilted square is a square with no horizontal sides. Can you devise a general instruction for the construction of a square when you are given just one of its sides?

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Cubes Within Cubes Revisited

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

Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?

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There and Back Again

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo lives?

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Keep Your Distance

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two different distances between them?

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Building Gnomons

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.

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Triangles Within Triangles

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?

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Conway's Chequerboard Army

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

Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?

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Dice, Routes and Pathways

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

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. . . .

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More Pebbles

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

Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.

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Cuboid Challenge

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

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

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Khun Phaen Escapes to Freedom

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

Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.

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Concrete Wheel

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?

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Buses

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

A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus meet on its way from one end to the other end?

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Bands and Bridges: Bringing Topology Back

Stage: 2 and 3

Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.

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Coordinate Patterns

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

Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?

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Konigsberg Plus

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

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

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Shady Symmetry

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

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Drilling Many Cubes

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

A useful visualising exercise which offers opportunities for discussion and generalising, and which could be used for thinking about the formulae needed for generating the results on a spreadsheet.