This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
Can you make a cycle of pairs that add to make a square number
using all the numbers in the box below, once and once only?
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
Starting with the number 180, take away 9 again and again, joining up the dots as you go. Watch out - don't join all the dots!
Ahmed is making rods using different numbers of cubes. Which rod is twice the length of his first rod?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four
calculations are correct?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Place the numbers 1 to 6 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is
numerical, one geometric.
Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes. If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
There are to be 6 homes built on a new development site. They could
be semi-detached, detached or terraced houses. How many different
combinations of these can you find?
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?
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?
Start by putting one million (1 000 000) into the display of your
calculator. Can you reduce this to 7 using just the 7 key and add,
subtract, multiply, divide and equals as many times as you like?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears,
yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways
could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?
Ben has five coins in his pocket. How much money might he have?
Use these head, body and leg pieces to make Robot Monsters which are different heights.
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?
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can
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!
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both
sides once you've made the pieces?
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.
A group of children are using measuring cylinders but they lose the labels. Can you help relabel them?
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different
ways could you score 44?
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the
sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square
of another, larger, number.
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?
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square
tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using
all 15 tables, with no empty places.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
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
Can you hang weights in the right place to make the equaliser
Use your logical-thinking skills to deduce how much Dan's crisps and ice-cream cost altogether.
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!
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?
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?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
Choose four of the numbers from 1 to 9 to put in the squares so that the differences between joined squares are odd.
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?
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?
There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and
lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children
buy with their money?
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?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers
less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the
alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?