Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
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?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
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
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.
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
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
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?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
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?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
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?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
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?
A circle is inscribed in a triangle which has side lengths of 8, 15
and 17 cm. What is the radius of the circle?
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?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take
60,000 men to build a similar wall?
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?
Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find
one angle in terms of the other two.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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. . . .
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 find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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?
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?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
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. . . .
What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid)
parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
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. . . .
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?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
It is known that the area of the largest equilateral triangular
section of a cube is 140sq cm. What is the side length of the cube?
The distances between the centres of two adjacent faces of. . . .
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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?
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?