The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
15 = 7 + 8 and 10 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers?
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.
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?
The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?
My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?
Find all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with 3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same total.
Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME
A cinema has 100 seats. Show how it is possible to sell exactly 100 tickets and take exactly £100 if the prices are £10 for adults, 50p for pensioners and 10p for children.
This Sudoku requires you to do some working backwards before working forwards.
Replace the letters with numbers to make the addition work out correctly. R E A D + T H I S = P A G E
If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?
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?
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
This cube has ink on each face which leaves marks on paper as it is rolled. Can you work out what is on each face and the route it has taken?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?
Choose four different digits from 1-9 and put one in each box so that the resulting four two-digit numbers add to a total of 100.
Can you find a cuboid that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
It is possible to identify a particular card out of a pack of 15 with the use of some mathematical reasoning. What is this reasoning and can it be applied to other numbers of cards?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?
This is a variation of sudoku which contains a set of special clue-numbers. Each set of 4 small digits stands for the numbers in the four cells of the grid adjacent to this set.
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
You need to find the values of the stars before you can apply normal Sudoku rules.
An extra constraint means this Sudoku requires you to think in diagonals as well as horizontal and vertical lines and boxes of nine.
Four numbers on an intersection that need to be placed in the surrounding cells. That is all you need to know to solve this sudoku.
A Sudoku with clues as ratios.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
A Sudoku with a twist.
I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
Five numbers added together in pairs produce: 0, 2, 4, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 What are the five numbers?
A Sudoku with a twist.
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?
Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?
Can you arrange the digits 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 3 to make a Number Sandwich?
You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?
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?
in how many ways can you place the numbers 1, 2, 3 … 9 in the nine regions of the Olympic Emblem (5 overlapping circles) so that the amount in each ring is the same?
Solve the equations to identify the clue numbers in this Sudoku problem.
A Sudoku based on clues that give the differences between adjacent cells.
Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?
60 pieces and a challenge. What can you make and how many of the pieces can you use creating skeleton polyhedra?