These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

Padlock challenges

The aim of each challenge is for students to complete each of the five tasks, recording their results on the answer sheet entitled “To open the padlock”. Students obtaining the correct ‘grand total’ have successfully completed the challenge.

The number padlock challenge contains five number challenges, one each from the topics of rounding and estimating; primes, factors, multiples and squares; number grids and puzzles; factors, multiples and fractional parts.

The algebra padlock challenge contains five algebra challenges from the topics basic addition of linear and quadratic equations; multiplication, division and powers; multiplying a bracket by a number; evaluating expressions and solving linear equations.

The statistics padlock challenge contains five statistics challenges from frequency tables, bar charts, frequency diagrams, histograms and scatter diagrams.

The probability padlock challenge contains five probability challenges from the topics assigning probabilities, expected values, probabilities as percentages and tree diagrams.

These activities are taken from the Mathematical Association publications Padlock Challenges: Using Number and Algebra and Padlock Challenges: Statistics and Probability in which further challenges are available.

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