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Odd Differences

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Cuboid Challenge

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

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Semi-detached

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Sending a Parcel

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid) parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?

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Handshakes

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

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Picturing Square Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

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Dating Made Easier

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

If a sum invested gains 10% each year how long before it has doubled its value?

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Ladder and Cube

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Eight Hidden Squares

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Three Cubes

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?

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Inscribed in a Circle

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Nicely Similar

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Pair Products

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

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Partly Circles

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

What is the same and what is different about these circle questions? What connections can you make?

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Make 37

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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What's Possible?

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?

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Compare Areas

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an isosceles, right angle triangle?

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Elevenses

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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The Spider and the Fly

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Painted Cube

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Funnel

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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 ?

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Cola Can

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

An aluminium can contains 330 ml of cola. If the can's diameter is 6 cm what is the can's height?

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An Unusual Shape

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?

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Litov's Mean Value Theorem

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...

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14 Divisors

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?

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On the Edge

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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. . . .

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Negative Power

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

What does this number mean ? Which order of 1, 2, 3 and 4 makes the highest value ? Which makes the lowest ?

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Curvy Areas

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?

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Days and Dates

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...

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Salinon

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Areas of Parallelograms

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?

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Searching for Mean(ing)

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Circles in Quadrilaterals

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.

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CD Heaven

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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. . . .

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What's it Worth?

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?

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Matchless

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

There is a particular value of x, and a value of y to go with it, which make all five expressions equal in value, can you find that x, y pair ?

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Minus One Two Three

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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 ?

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Gutter

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?

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Squares in Rectangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Napkin

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .

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Orbiting Billiard Balls

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard table and then pass through its original position?

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Beelines

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?

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Sitting Pretty

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Route to Infinity

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

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Hexy-metry

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?

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Who Is the Fairest of Them All?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Explore the effect of combining enlargements.

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Shady Symmetry

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

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1 Step 2 Step

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Where to Land

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Marbles in a Box

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?