Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
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 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
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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?
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?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
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.
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
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?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
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?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
An aluminium can contains 330 ml of cola. If the can's diameter is
6 cm what is the can's height?
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.
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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?
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?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines 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?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
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. . . .
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
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?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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 it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take
60,000 men to build a similar wall?
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
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?
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?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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 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?
Why does this fold create an angle of sixty degrees?
A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are
What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard
table and then pass through its original position?