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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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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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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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Königsberg

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

Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?

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Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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One and Three

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

Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return, 400. . . .

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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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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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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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Drilling Many Cubes

Stage: 2 and 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.

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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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Triangle Inequality

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

ABC is an equilateral triangle and P is a point in the interior of the triangle. We know that AP = 3cm and BP = 4cm. Prove that CP must be less than 10 cm.

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Steel Cables

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

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Around and Back

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

A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .

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How Many Dice?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .

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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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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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Fermat's Poser

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

Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners) of a given triangle is a minimum.

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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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Tessellating Hexagons

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

Which hexagons tessellate?

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Jam

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

A game for 2 players

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Building Tetrahedra

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

Can you make a tetrahedron whose faces all have the same perimeter?

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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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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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Chess

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

What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by 99 square board?

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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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Crossing the Atlantic

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

Every day at noon a boat leaves Le Havre for New York while another boat leaves New York for Le Havre. The ocean crossing takes seven days. How many boats will each boat cross during their journey?

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Tic Tac Toe

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

In the game of Noughts and Crosses there are 8 distinct winning lines. How many distinct winning lines are there in a game played on a 3 by 3 by 3 board, with 27 cells?

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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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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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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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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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John's Train Is on Time

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

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?

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Cubic Net

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

This is an interactive net of a Rubik's cube. Twists of the 3D cube become mixes of the squares on the 2D net. Have a play and see how many scrambles you can undo!

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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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Clocking Off

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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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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Hidden Rectangles

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

Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?

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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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Playground Snapshot

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

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?

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Cuboids

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

Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?

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Cutting a Cube

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

A half-cube is cut into two pieces by a plane through the long diagonal and at right angles to it. Can you draw a net of these pieces? Are they identical?

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Baravelle

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?

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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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Efficient Packing

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How efficiently can you pack together disks?

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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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Reflecting Squarely

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make shapes with line symmetry?

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AMGM

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

Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?

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Something in Common

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

A square of area 3 square units cannot be drawn on a 2D grid so that each of its vertices have integer coordinates, but can it be drawn on a 3D grid? Investigate squares that can be drawn.

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Hypotenuse Lattice Points

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

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?