Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
The area of a square inscribed in a circle with a unit radius is,
satisfyingly, 2. What is the area of a regular hexagon inscribed in
a circle with a unit radius?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a
room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest
distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?
A square of area 40 square cms is inscribed in a semicircle. Find
the area of the square that could be inscribed in a circle of the
Is it always possible to combine two paints made up in the ratios
1:x and 1:y and turn them into paint made up in the ratio a:b ? Can
you find an efficent way of doing this?
This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship
between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on
AB as diameter?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
A 1 metre cube has one face on the ground and one face against a
wall. A 4 metre ladder leans against the wall and just touches the
cube. How high is the top of the ladder above the ground?
A decorator can buy pink paint from two manufacturers. What is the
least number he would need of each type in order to produce
different shades of pink.
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
A plastic funnel is used to pour liquids through narrow apertures.
What shape funnel would use the least amount of plastic to
manufacture for any specific volume ?
If the hypotenuse (base) length is 100cm and if an extra line
splits the base into 36cm and 64cm parts, what were the side
lengths for the original right-angled triangle?
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
Two ladders are propped up against facing walls. The end of the
first ladder is 10 metres above the foot of the first wall. The end
of the second ladder is 5 metres above the foot of the second. . . .
A circle is inscribed in a triangle which has side lengths of 8, 15
and 17 cm. What is the radius of the circle?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Five children went into the sweet shop after school. There were
choco bars, chews, mini eggs and lollypops, all costing under 50p.
Suggest a way in which Nathan could spend all his money.
Why does this fold create an angle of sixty degrees?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is
inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
Chris is enjoying a swim but needs to get back for lunch. If she can swim at 3 m/s and run at 7m/sec, how far along the bank should she land in order to get back as quickly as possible?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
A game for 2 or more people, based on the traditional card game
Rummy. Players aim to make two `tricks', where each trick has to
consist of a picture of a shape, a name that describes that shape,
and. . . .
A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z
coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that
cannot be made? How do you know?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
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?
What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid)
parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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?
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.
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter
of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to
Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.