Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
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.
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?
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?
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which
seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the
foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .
Can you explain how this card trick works?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
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?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums?
1/2 + 2/1 =
2/3 + 3/2 =
3/4 + 4/3 =
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
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?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What
number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to
dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
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?
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.
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. . . .
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. . . .
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.
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is the number youâ€™re left with odd or even? How do the images help to explain this?
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.
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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?
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
Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both
has increased. How can this be so?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?