A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
A 1 metre cube has one face on the ground and one face against a
wall. A 4 metre ladder leans against the wall and just touches the
cube. How high is the top of the ladder above the ground?
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?
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
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?
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?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
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?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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. . . .
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
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
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?
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?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
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 the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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. . . .
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. . . .
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?
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
An aluminium can contains 330 ml of cola. If the can's diameter is
6 cm what is the can's height?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
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?
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Chris is enjoying a swim but needs to get back for lunch. If she can swim at 3 m/s and run at 7m/sec, how far along the bank should she land in order to get back as quickly as possible?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges
have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
Why does this fold create an angle of sixty degrees?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
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?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?