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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Visualising

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Charting More Success

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?

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Charting Success

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?

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Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Age 5 to 18 Challenge Level:

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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Flight of the Flibbins

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Königsberg

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

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Fermat's Poser

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners) of a given triangle is a minimum.

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On Time

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

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Crossing the Atlantic

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

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Buses

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

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Clocked

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?

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Painting Cubes

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?

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Dice, Routes and Pathways

Age 5 to 14

This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .

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On the Edge

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?

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Inside Out

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

There are 27 small cubes in a 3 x 3 x 3 cube, 54 faces being visible at any one time. Is it possible to reorganise these cubes so that by dipping the large cube into a pot of paint three times you. . . .

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Sliced

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

An irregular tetrahedron has two opposite sides the same length a and the line joining their midpoints is perpendicular to these two edges and is of length b. What is the volume of the tetrahedron?

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Wari

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?

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Changing Places

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .

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Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

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Tourism

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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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Travelling Salesman

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A Hamiltonian circuit is a continuous path in a graph that passes through each of the vertices exactly once and returns to the start. How many Hamiltonian circuits can you find in these graphs?

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Tetrahedra Tester

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?

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Picturing Square Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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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Picturing Triangular Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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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Tied Up

Age 14 to 16 Short Challenge Level:

How much of the field can the animals graze?

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An Unusual Shape

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?

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Rolling Triangle

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The triangle ABC is equilateral. The arc AB has centre C, the arc BC has centre A and the arc CA has centre B. Explain how and why this shape can roll along between two parallel tracks.

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Weighty Problem

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The diagram shows a very heavy kitchen cabinet. It cannot be lifted but it can be pivoted around a corner. The task is to move it, without sliding, in a series of turns about the corners so that it. . . .

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Khun Phaen Escapes to Freedom

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.

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Linkage

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Four rods, two of length a and two of length b, are linked to form a kite. The linkage is moveable so that the angles change. What is the maximum area of the kite?

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Trice

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

ABCDEFGH is a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. Point P is 1/3 along AB (that is AP : PB = 1 : 2), point Q is 1/3 along GH and point R is 1/3 along ED. What is the area of the triangle PQR?

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Framed

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions of. . . .

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Tetra Square

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

ABCD is a regular tetrahedron and the points P, Q, R and S are the midpoints of the edges AB, BD, CD and CA. Prove that PQRS is a square.

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Take Ten

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Is it possible to remove ten unit cubes from a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that the surface area of the remaining solid is the same as the surface area of the original?

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John's Train Is on Time

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?

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Shady Symmetry

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

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Hidden Rectangles

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?

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Reflecting Squarely

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make shapes with line symmetry?

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Shaping the Universe II - the Solar System

Age 11 to 16

The second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.

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Circuit Training

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Mike and Monisha meet at the race track, which is 400m round. Just to make a point, Mike runs anticlockwise whilst Monisha runs clockwise. Where will they meet on their way around and will they ever. . . .

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Coordinate Patterns

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?

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Sliding Puzzle

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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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Troublesome Dice

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we didn't...?

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Baravelle

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?

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Summing Squares

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?

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Speeding Boats

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?

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Christmas Chocolates

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

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Triangles in the Middle

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.

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Diminishing Returns

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

How much of the square is coloured blue? How will the pattern continue?

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Bent Out of Shape

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

An introduction to bond angle geometry.