Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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.
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?
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?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
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 you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are
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.
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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 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?
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?
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 to. . . .
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
A car's milometer reads 4631 miles and the trip meter has 173.3 on
it. How many more miles must the car travel before the two numbers
contain the same digits in the same order?
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?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of
11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
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.
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?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect
squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
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. . . .
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find
one angle in terms of the other two.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
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?
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?
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.
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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 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?
If: A + C = A; F x D = F; B - G = G; A + H = E; B / H = G; E - G =
F and A-H represent the numbers from 0 to 7 Find the values of A,
B, C, D, E, F and H.
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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. . . .
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?
Here is a chance to create some attractive images by rotating
shapes through multiples of 90 degrees, or 30 degrees, or 72
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
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 rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?