Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
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 Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. The Greedy Algorithm might provide us with an efficient
way of doing this.
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?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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 napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
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?
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?
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
A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are
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. . . .
The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is
the sum of the denominator and numerator?
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. . . .
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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?
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 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?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of
11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
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 circle is inscribed in a triangle which has side lengths of 8, 15
and 17 cm. What is the radius of the circle?
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.
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. . . .
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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?
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?
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?
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?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
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?
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two?
How about three, four or six?
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?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
In 15 years' time my age will be the square of my age 15 years ago.
Can you work out my age, and when I had other special birthdays?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
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. . . .
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is
inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the
next two rows?