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

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Troublesome Triangles

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

Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .

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LOGO Challenge - Triangles-squares-stars

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

Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of procedures will help - variables not essential.

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Coins (2)

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?

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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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Sticks and Triangles

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

Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of sticks that make the most triangles?

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Polydron

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.

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Calendar Cubes

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

Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.

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Snails' Trails

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?

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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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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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Calcunos

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

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

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Buying a Balloon

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?

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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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Integrated Product Sudoku

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

This Sudoku puzzle can be solved with the help of small clue-numbers on the border lines between pairs of neighbouring squares of the grid.

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You Owe Me Five Farthings, Say the Bells of St Martin's

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

Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?

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Egyptian Rope

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

The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?

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Tri.'s

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?

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Symmetry Challenge

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

Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square lattice paper to record your results.

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Adding Plus

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

Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?

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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?

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Ancient Runes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works using the table of the alphabet?

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Brush Loads

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.

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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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The Problem-solving Classroom

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

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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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Money Bags

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

Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?

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The Pet Graph

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the animal names under each column in the block graph using the information?

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Counting on Letters

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

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

This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

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Octa Space

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

In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get from Planet A to Planet Zargon?

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Quadrilaterals

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

How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?

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Pouring the Punch Drink

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

There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.

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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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Triangles to Tetrahedra

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

Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?

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A Square of Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?

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Route Product

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

Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?

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Square Corners

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

What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?

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Five Coins

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

Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?

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LOGO Challenge - Pentagram Pylons

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

Pentagram Pylons - can you elegantly recreate them? Or, the European flag in LOGO - what poses the greater problem?

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LOGO Challenge - Following On

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

Remember that you want someone following behind you to see where you went. Can yo work out how these patterns were created and recreate them?

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Pasta Timing

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?

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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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Counting Cards

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

A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?

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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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Ice Cream

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

You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.

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It Figures

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

Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?

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Eight Queens

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

Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.

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1 to 8

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.

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Two on Five

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

Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?

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Room Doubling

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

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.