What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid)
parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
Start with two numbers. This is the start of a sequence. The next
number is the average of the last two numbers. Continue the
sequence. What will happen if you carry on for ever?
A car's milometer reads 4631 miles and the trip meter has 173.3 on
it. How many more miles must the car travel before the two numbers
contain the same digits in the same order?
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. . . .
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. The Greedy Algorithm might provide us with an efficient
way of doing this.
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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. . . .
Can you arrange these numbers into 7 subsets, each of three
numbers, so that when the numbers in each are added together, they
make seven consecutive numbers?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
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?
In 15 years' time my age will be the square of my age 15 years ago. Can you work out my age, and when I had other special birthdays?
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.
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take
60,000 men to build a similar wall?
Think of two whole numbers under 10, and follow the steps. I can work out both your numbers very quickly. How?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
If: A + C = A; F x D = F; B - G = G; A + H = E; B / H = G; E - G =
F and A-H represent the numbers from 0 to 7 Find the values of A,
B, C, D, E, F and H.
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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?
Each of the following shapes is made from arcs of a circle of
radius r. What is the perimeter of a shape with 3, 4, 5 and n
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 ?
An aluminium can contains 330 ml of cola. If the can's diameter is
6 cm what is the can's height?
The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is
the sum of the denominator and numerator?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
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?
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?
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?
What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
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?
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?
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.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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.
A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are
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?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
Here is a chance to create some attractive images by rotating
shapes through multiples of 90 degrees, or 30 degrees, or 72
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?
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?
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?
The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.
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.