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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 > Generalising

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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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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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Simple Train Journeys

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

How many different journeys could you make if you were going to visit four stations in this network? How about if there were five stations? Can you predict the number of journeys for seven stations?

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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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Route to Infinity

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

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

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Dicing with Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?

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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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Games Related to Nim

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.

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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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Picturing Square Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

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Intersecting Circles

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

Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?

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Painted Cube

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

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?

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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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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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Is There a Theorem?

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

Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation. How far does the dot travel?

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Sliding Puzzle

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

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.

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Nim-like Games

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

A collection of games on the NIM theme

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Go Forth and Generalise

Stage: 3

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

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Winning Lines

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

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Number Pyramids

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

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Nim-interactive

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

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.

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Keep it Simple

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

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Cuboid Challenge

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

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

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Round the Four Dice

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.

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Round the Three Dice

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What happens when you round these three-digit numbers to the nearest 100?

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Handshakes

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

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

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Special Sums and Products

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

Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.

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Sum Equals Product

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

The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .

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Mini-max

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

Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .

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Area and Perimeter

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.

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Egyptian Fractions

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

The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.

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Play to 37

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.

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Sums and Differences 1

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.

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Sums and Differences 2

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?

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Shear Magic

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

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

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What Numbers Can We Make Now?

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

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

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Fault-free Rectangles

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

Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.

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Spirals, Spirals

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?

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What Numbers Can We Make?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

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Centred Squares

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

This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.

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Tiling

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.

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Button-up Some More

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

How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?

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Broken Toaster

Stage: 2 Short Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?

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Journeys in Numberland

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.

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Searching for Mean(ing)

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

Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?

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Polygonals

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

Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.

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For Richer for Poorer

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

Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?

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Snake Coils

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.

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More Twisting and Turning

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

It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...