Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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.
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the
next two rows?
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?
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
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.
The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is
the sum of the denominator and numerator?
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?
Mathematicians are always looking for efficient methods for solving problems. How efficient can you be?
Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two?
How about three, four or six?
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?
What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?
A mother wants to share a sum of money by giving each of her
children in turn a lump sum plus a fraction of the remainder. How
can she do this in order to share the money out equally?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of
11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
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?
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. . . .
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?
What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid)
parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find
one angle in terms of the other two.
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
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.
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.
Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?
Rectangle PQRS has X and Y on the edges. Triangles PQY, YRX and XSP
have equal areas. Prove X and Y divide the sides of PQRS in the
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole
numbers, can you find the 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?
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 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. . . .
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?
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?
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?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday
will be on next year, and the year after...
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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?
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 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?
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard
table and then pass through its original position?