Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Mathematicians are always looking for efficient methods for solving problems. How efficient can you be?
What is the largest number which, when divided into 1905, 2587,
3951, 7020 and 8725 in turn, leaves the same remainder each time?
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
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.
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?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?
Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface
area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you
find them all?
Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the 'back of
the queue' and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. What
properties do your answers always have?
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated
the difference between square numbers?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
What does this number mean ? Which order of 1, 2, 3 and 4 makes the
highest value ? Which makes the lowest ?
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?
A 2-Digit number is squared. When this 2-digit number is reversed
and squared, the difference between the squares is also a square.
What is the 2-digit number?
Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...
Some 4 digit numbers can be written as the product of a 3 digit
number and a 2 digit number using the digits 1 to 9 each once and
only once. The number 4396 can be written as just such a product.
Can. . . .
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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?
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges
have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
Here are four tiles. They can be arranged in a 2 by 2 square so that this large square has a green edge. If the tiles are moved around, we can make a 2 by 2 square with a blue edge... Now try to. . . .
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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 size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Some people offer advice on how to win at games of chance, or how
to influence probability in your favour. Can you decide whether
advice is good or not?
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 you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds
leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each
other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return,
400. . . .
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
Why does this fold create an angle of sixty degrees?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
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.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
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?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?