What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid)
parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
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?
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Think of two whole numbers under 10, and follow the steps. I can work out both your numbers very quickly. How?
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.
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?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT 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.
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?
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.
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?
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take
60,000 men to build a similar wall?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
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 find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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 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 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?
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?
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
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is
the sum of the denominator and numerator?
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?
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
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?
What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?
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?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
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.
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?
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
Here is a chance to create some attractive images by rotating
shapes through multiples of 90 degrees, or 30 degrees, or 72
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. . . .
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.
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Mathematicians are always looking for efficient methods for solving problems. How efficient can you be?
Chris and Jo put two red and four blue ribbons in a box. They each
pick a ribbon from the box without looking. Jo wins if the two
ribbons are the same colour. Is the game fair?