Resources tagged with: Working systematically

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Broad Topics > Mathematical Thinking > Working systematically

Symmetry Challenge

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square lattice paper to record your results.

Home City

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.

Bean Bags for Bernard's Bag

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?

Chocs, Mints, Jellies

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

Sweets in a Box

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?

Street Party

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.

Cubes Here and There

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?

Elf Suits

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?

Birthday Cake Candles

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge involves calculating the number of candles needed on birthday cakes. It is an opportunity to explore numbers and discover new things.

Three by Three

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Arrange 3 red, 3 blue and 3 yellow counters into a three-by-three square grid, so that there is only one of each colour in every row and every column

Ice Cream

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.

It Figures

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?

Room Doubling

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

Two on Five

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?

Eight Queens

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.

Polo Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

Crossing the Town Square

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.

Building with Rods

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?

Three Way Mix Up

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Jack has nine tiles. He put them together to make a square so that two tiles of the same colour were not beside each other. Can you find another way to do it?

Newspapers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?

Calcunos

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

Calendar Cubes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.

More and More Buckets

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?

3 Rings

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?

Wag Worms

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.

Make Pairs

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the rules.

Halloween Investigation

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?

Team Scream

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with each of the others. What was the total number rides?

Watch Your Feet

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you find for me to take?

Two Dots

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.

Buying a Balloon

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?

Dice Stairs

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?

Sealed Solution

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?

Centred Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.

The Puzzling Sweet Shop

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?

Stairs

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.

Counters in the Middle

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

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

Tri-five

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Find all the different shapes that can be made by joining five equilateral triangles edge to edge.

Creating Cubes

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.

Tiling

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.

Four Colours

Age 5 to 11 Challenge Level:

Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.

Neighbours

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?

Plates of Biscuits

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?

Seven Square Numbers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square of another, larger, number.

Two Egg Timers

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?

Painting Possibilities

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .

Twenty Divided Into Six

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Katie had a pack of 20 cards numbered from 1 to 20. She arranged the cards into 6 unequal piles where each pile added to the same total. What was the total and how could this be done?

Multiplication Squares

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used once and once only.

Prison Cells

Age 7 to 11 Challenge Level:

There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?