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

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Squares in Rectangles

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

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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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Cubes Within Cubes Revisited

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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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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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Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

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Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

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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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One Out One Under

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top, put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you predict the last card?

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Building Tetrahedra

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make a tetrahedron whose faces all have the same perimeter?

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Cuboids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?

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Triangles to Tetrahedra

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?

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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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Hypotenuse Lattice Points

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?

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Coloured Edges

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?

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Cubes Within Cubes

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Rati-o

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Points P, Q, R and S each divide the sides AB, BC, CD and DA respectively in the ratio of 2 : 1. Join the points. What is the area of the parallelogram PQRS in relation to the original rectangle?

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Frogs

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

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Painted Cube

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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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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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An Unusual Shape

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?

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One and Three

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return, 400. . . .

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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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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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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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Around and Back

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .

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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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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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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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Something in Common

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A square of area 3 square units cannot be drawn on a 2D grid so that each of its vertices have integer coordinates, but can it be drawn on a 3D grid? Investigate squares that can be drawn.

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Square It

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.

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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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Double Trouble

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...

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Seven Squares

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?

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Route to Infinity

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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Steel Cables

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

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3D Stacks

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?

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Auditorium Steps

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?

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Polygon Rings

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Join pentagons together edge to edge. Will they form a ring?