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 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?
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 see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
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. . . .
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?
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 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?
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. . . .
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?
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?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find
one angle in terms of the other two.
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.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
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?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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?
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.
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?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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
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?
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 six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
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?
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
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
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 describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
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. . . .
Here is a chance to create some attractive images by rotating
shapes through multiples of 90 degrees, or 30 degrees, or 72
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
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. . . .