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. . . .
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
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?
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 area of the quadrilateral APOQ? Working on the building
blocks will give you some insights that may help you to work it
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.
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?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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?
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
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?
Some people offer advice on how to win at games of chance, or how
to influence probability in your favour. Can you decide whether
advice is good or not?
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?
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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?
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
Which of these games would you play to give yourself the best possible chance of winning a prize?
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 hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
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?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
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?
An aluminium can contains 330 ml of cola. If the can's diameter is
6 cm what is the can's height?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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. . . .
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...
What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard
table and then pass through its original position?
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.
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
Here is a chance to create some attractive images by rotating
shapes through multiples of 90 degrees, or 30 degrees, or 72
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is
the sum of the denominator and numerator?
What is the largest number which, when divided into 1905, 2587,
3951, 7020 and 8725 in turn, leaves the same remainder each time?
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. . . .
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.
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?
A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are