An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.
Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
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?
First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...
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.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = nĀ² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?
Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .
Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
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.
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?
Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .
What is the total number of squares that can be made on a 5 by 5 geoboard?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .