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?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
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?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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
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?
Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find
one angle in terms of the other two.
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
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.
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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?
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. . . .
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
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.
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
A circle is inscribed in a triangle which has side lengths of 8, 15
and 17 cm. What is the radius of the circle?
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?
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?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
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 the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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?
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?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
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?
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 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?
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 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. . . .
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges
have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...
A 2-Digit number is squared. When this 2-digit number is reversed
and squared, the difference between the squares is also a square.
What is the 2-digit number?
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 ?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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?
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 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?
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