Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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?
A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
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.
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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?
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
How many more miles must the car travel before the numbers on the milometer and the trip meter contain the same digits in the same order?
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.
Rectangle PQRS has X and Y on the edges. Triangles PQY, YRX and XSP
have equal areas. Prove X and Y divide the sides of PQRS in the
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
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?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
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. . . .
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard
table and then pass through its original position?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
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?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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.
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?
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
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?
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.
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 ?
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?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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?
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
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
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
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?
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges
have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the 'back of
the queue' and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. What
properties do your answers always have?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?