Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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?
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
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 "nodes".
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. . . .
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?
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.
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
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 same radius.
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
What is the area of the quadrilateral APOQ? Working on the building blocks will give you some insights that may help you to work it out.
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
Your school has been left a million pounds in the will of an ex- pupil. What model of investment and spending would you use in order to ensure the best return on the money?
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?
Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.
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.
Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
Why does this fold create an angle of sixty degrees?
A circle of radius r touches two sides of a right angled triangle, sides x and y, and has its centre on the hypotenuse. Can you prove the formula linking x, y and r?
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?
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an isosceles, right angle triangle?
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?
Find the decimal equivalents of the fractions one ninth, one ninety ninth, one nine hundred and ninety ninth etc. Explain the pattern you get and generalise.
Water freezes at 0°Celsius (32°Fahrenheit) and boils at 100°C (212°Fahrenheit). Is there a temperature at which Celsius and Fahrenheit readings are the same?
What is the same and what is different about these circle questions? What connections can you make?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
Find the sum of the series.
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden 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. . . .
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
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?
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?
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?