Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an isosceles, right angle triangle?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
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
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 napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
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?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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?
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
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?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
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?
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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?
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
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?
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...
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. . . .
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?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
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?
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. . . .
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
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?
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 "nodes".
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...
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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. . . .
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges
have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
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.
What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard
table and then pass through its original position?
A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?