Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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 find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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?
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?
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
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...
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?
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
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.
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
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?
If a sum invested gains 10% each year how long before it has
doubled its value?
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
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. . . .
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.
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers
the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?
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 ?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
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?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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?
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?
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?
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
Each of the following shapes is made from arcs of a circle of
radius r. What is the perimeter of a shape with 3, 4, 5 and n
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. . . .
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges
have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
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 angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard
table and then pass through its original position?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
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. . . .
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.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?