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.
First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...
Fancy a game of cricket? Here is a mathematical version you can play indoors without breaking any windows.
32 x 38 = 30 x 40 + 2 x 8; 34 x 36 = 30 x 40 + 4 x 6; 56 x 54 = 50 x 60 + 6 x 4; 73 x 77 = 70 x 80 + 3 x 7 Verify and generalise if possible.
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
A brief video explaining the idea of a mathematical knot.
Learn about the link between logical arguments and electronic circuits. Investigate the logical connectives by making and testing your own circuits and record your findings in truth tables.
Every day at noon a boat leaves Le Havre for New York while another boat leaves New York for Le Havre. The ocean crossing takes seven days. How many boats will each boat cross during their journey?
Investigate circuits and record your findings in this simple introduction to truth tables and logic.
Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?
This article for students introduces the idea of naming knots using numbers. You'll need some paper and something to write with handy!
Your partner chooses two beads and places them side by side behind a screen. What is the minimum number of guesses you would need to be sure of guessing the two beads and their positions?
Two cyclists, practising on a track, pass each other at the starting line and go at constant speeds... Can you find lap times that are such that the cyclists will meet exactly half way round the. . . .
Learn about the link between logical arguments and electronic circuits. Investigate the logical connectives by making and testing your own circuits and fill in the blanks in truth tables to record. . . .
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.
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus meet on its way from one end to the other end?
On a clock the three hands - the second, minute and hour hands - are on the same axis. How often in a 24 hour day will the second hand be parallel to either of the two other hands?
The builders have dug a hole in the ground to be filled with concrete for the foundations of our garage. How many cubic metres of ready-mix concrete should the builders order to fill this hole to. . . .
Explore the transformations and comment on what you find.
bioNRICH is the area of the stemNRICH site devoted to the mathematics underlying the study of the biological sciences, designed to help develop the mathematics required to get the most from your. . . .
In this article for teachers, Alan Parr looks at ways that mathematics teaching and learning can start from the useful and interesting things can we do with the subject, including. . . .
PhysNRICH is the area of the StemNRICH site devoted to the mathematics underlying the study of physics
A manager of a forestry company has to decide which trees to plant. What strategy for planting and felling would you recommend to the manager in order to maximise the profit?
How do you write a computer program that creates the illusion of stretching elastic bands between pegs of a Geoboard? The answer contains some surprising mathematics.
A car is travelling along a dual carriageway at constant speed. Every 3 minutes a bus passes going in the opposite direction, while every 6 minutes a bus passes the car travelling in the same. . . .
Chris is enjoying a swim but needs to get back for lunch. If she can swim at 3 m/s and run at 7m/sec, how far along the bank should she land in order to get back as quickly as possible?
This article for students gives some instructions about how to make some different braids.
Is this eco-system sustainable?
Use the computer to model an epidemic. Try out public health policies to control the spread of the epidemic, to minimise the number of sick days and deaths.
Suppose you are a bellringer. Can you find the changes so that, starting and ending with a round, all the 24 possible permutations are rung once each and only once?
The King showed the Princess a map of the maze and the Princess was allowed to decide which room she would wait in. She was not allowed to send a copy to her lover who would have to guess which path. . . .
Christmas trees are planted in a rectangular array of 10 rows and 12 columns. The farmer chooses the shortest tree in each of the columns... the tallest tree from each of the rows ... Which is. . . .
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take 60,000 men to build a similar wall?
This article for pupils gives an introduction to Celtic knotwork patterns and a feel for how you can draw them.
Basic strategy games are particularly suitable as starting points for investigations. Players instinctively try to discover a winning strategy, and usually the best way to do this is to analyse. . . .
At Holborn underground station there is a very long escalator. Two people are in a hurry and so climb the escalator as it is moving upwards, thus adding their speed to that of the moving steps. . . .
Sometime during every hour the minute hand lies directly above the hour hand. At what time between 4 and 5 o'clock does this happen?
Can you explain why every year must contain at least one Friday the thirteenth?
In a league of 5 football teams which play in a round robin tournament show that it is possible for all five teams to be league leaders.
The third installment in our series on the shape of astronomical systems, this article explores galaxies and the universe beyond our solar system.
Simple models which help us to investigate how epidemics grow and die out.
The triathlon is a physically gruelling challenge. Can you work out which athlete burnt the most calories?
Formulate and investigate a simple mathematical model for the design of a table mat.
Can you suggest a curve to fit some experimental data? Can you work out where the data might have come from?
How does the time of dawn and dusk vary? What about the Moon, how does that change from night to night? Is the Sun always the same? Gather data to help you explore these questions.
Build a scaffold out of drinking-straws to support a cup of water
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. . . .
Your school has been left a million pounds in the will of an ex- pupil. What model of investment and spending would you use in order to ensure the best return on the money?
What shapes should Elly cut out to make a witch's hat? How can she make a taller hat?