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?
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?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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 to. . . .
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
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.
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
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?
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.
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
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.
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?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
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?
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?
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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.
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
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?
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 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. . . .
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
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
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?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid)
parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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 guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
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. . . .
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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?
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take
60,000 men to build a similar wall?
A car's milometer reads 4631 miles and the trip meter has 173.3 on
it. How many more miles must the car travel before the two numbers
contain the same digits in the same order?
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...