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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Working systematically

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Are You Well Balanced?

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more than one weight on a hook.

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Seven Flipped

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

Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.

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Fair Exchange

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In your bank, you have three types of coins. The number of spots shows how much they are worth. Can you choose coins to exchange with the groups given to make the same total?

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Inky Cube

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

This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?

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Factor Lines

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

Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.

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Beads and Bags

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

How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?

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A Mixed-up Clock

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?

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One to Fifteen

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?

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Crossing the Town Square

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

This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.

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Growing Garlic

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.

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Seven Pots of Plants

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

There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.

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Here to There 1 2 3

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?

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Lots of Lollies

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?

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Making Trains

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you make a train the same length as Laura's but using three differently coloured rods? Is there only one way of doing it?

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Same Length Trains

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many trains can you make which are the same length as Matt's, using rods that are identical?

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Twinkle Twinkle

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

A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.

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Red Even

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

You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals have an even number of red counters?

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More on Mazes

Stage: 2 and 3

There is a long tradition of creating mazes throughout history and across the world. This article gives details of mazes you can visit and those that you can tackle on paper.

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Arrangements

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?

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Cuisenaire Counting

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Here are some rods that are different colours. How could I make a dark green rod using yellow and white rods?

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Nineteen Hexagons

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What are the possible paths you could take?

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Making Maths: Double-sided Magic Square

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

Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?

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One of Thirty-six

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you find the chosen number from the grid using the clues?

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Greater Than or Less Than?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Use the numbers and symbols to make this number sentence correct. How many different ways can you find?

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Getting the Balance

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

If you hang two weights on one side of this balance, in how many different ways can you hang three weights on the other side for it to be balanced?

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How Long Does it Take?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.

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Matching Time

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.

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6 Beads

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

If you put three beads onto a tens/ones abacus you could make the numbers 3, 30, 12 or 21. What numbers can be made with six beads?

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Polo Square

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

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Robot Monsters

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.

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Triangle Edges

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

How many triangles can you make using sticks that are 3cm, 4cm and 5cm long?

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Bean Bags for Bernard's Bag

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

How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?

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Zargon Glasses

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

Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?

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Rabbits in the Pen

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

Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?

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Uncanny Triangles

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

Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?

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Counters

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

Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?

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All Seated

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

Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?

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Whose Face?

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

These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.

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Wonky Watches

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

Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the real time) they arrived at the airport.

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Dart Target

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

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.

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Nine-pin Triangles

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

How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?

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Mrs Beeswax

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

In how many ways could Mrs Beeswax put ten coins into her three puddings so that each pudding ended up with at least two coins?

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A-magical Number Maze

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

This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a total of 15!

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Making Boxes

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

Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?

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Fake Gold

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake bar?

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A Bit of a Dicey Problem

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

When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?

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Mystery Matrix

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

Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.

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Chocoholics

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

George and Jim want to buy a chocolate bar. George needs 2p more and Jim need 50p more to buy it. How much is the chocolate bar?

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Open Squares

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

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?

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Plate Spotting

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

I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M. What order were they in?