Three frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to finish up in the same order they started?
The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
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. . . .
Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .
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?
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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.
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?
How many different ways can I lay 10 paving slabs, each 2 foot by 1 foot, to make a path 2 foot wide and 10 foot long from my back door into my garden, without cutting any of the paving slabs?
Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions of. . . .
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
A game for 2 players
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...
How much of the square is coloured blue? How will the pattern continue?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
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.
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
Take a line segment of length 1. Remove the middle third. Remove the middle thirds of what you have left. Repeat infinitely many times, and you have the Cantor Set. Can you picture it?
Four rods, two of length a and two of length b, are linked to form a kite. The linkage is moveable so that the angles change. What is the maximum area of the kite?
In a right angled triangular field, three animals are tethered to posts at the midpoint of each side. Each rope is just long enough to allow the animal to reach two adjacent vertices. Only one animal. . . .
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
A circle rolls around the outside edge of a square so that its circumference always touches the edge of the square. Can you describe the locus of the centre of the circle?
Draw a pentagon with all the diagonals. This is called a pentagram. How many diagonals are there? How many diagonals are there in a hexagram, heptagram, ... Does any pattern occur when looking at. . . .
The triangle ABC is equilateral. The arc AB has centre C, the arc BC has centre A and the arc CA has centre B. Explain how and why this shape can roll along between two parallel tracks.
The diagram shows a very heavy kitchen cabinet. It cannot be lifted but it can be pivoted around a corner. The task is to move it, without sliding, in a series of turns about the corners so that it. . . .
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.
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?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
How can visual patterns be used to prove sums of series?
In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make shapes with line symmetry?
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. . . .
Points P, Q, R and S each divide the sides AB, BC, CD and DA respectively in the ratio of 2 : 1. Join the points. What is the area of the parallelogram PQRS in relation to the original rectangle?
A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?
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?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?