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?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
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?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
If a sum invested gains 10% each year how long before it has
doubled its value?
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
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
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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?
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?
All CD Heaven stores were given the same number of a popular CD to
sell for £24. In their two week sale each store reduces the
price of the CD by 25% ... How many CDs did the store sell at. . . .
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.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
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 see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the
next two rows?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect
squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT 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 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. . . .
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?
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?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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. . . .
A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is
inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
Substitute -1, -2 or -3, into an algebraic expression and you'll
get three results. Is it possible to tell in advance which of those
three will be the largest ?
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 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?
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 ?
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. . . .
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.
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
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.
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?
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?
An aluminium can contains 330 ml of cola. If the can's diameter is
6 cm what is the can's height?
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?
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. . . .