Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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.
List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...
Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.
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.
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
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. . . .
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
Benâ€™s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can make? And the greatest?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Try adding together the dates of all the days in one week. Now multiply the first date by 7 and add 21. Can you explain what happens?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?
We can arrange dots in a similar way to the 5 on a dice and they usually sit quite well into a rectangular shape. How many altogether in this 3 by 5? What happens for other sizes?
Watch this animation. What do you notice? What happens when you try more or fewer cubes in a bundle?
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?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
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?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
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?
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.
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.
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
This activity involves rounding four-digit numbers to the nearest thousand.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!