An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
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?
Your school has been left a million pounds in the will of an ex- pupil. What model of investment and spending would you use in order to ensure the best return on the money?
Can you arrange these numbers into 7 subsets, each of three numbers, so that when the numbers in each are added together, they make seven consecutive numbers?
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take 60,000 men to build a similar wall?
Think of two whole numbers under 10, and follow the steps. I can work out both your numbers very quickly. How?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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?
Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?
What is the same and what is different about these circle questions? What connections can you make?
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
Find the sum of the series.
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. . . .
Which of these games would you play to give yourself the best possible chance of winning a prize?
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 golden ratio.
There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?
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. . . .
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?
What is the largest number which, when divided into 1905, 2587, 3951, 7020 and 8725 in turn, leaves the same remainder each time?
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. . . .
Water freezes at 0°Celsius (32°Fahrenheit) and boils at 100°C (212°Fahrenheit). Is there a temperature at which Celsius and Fahrenheit readings are the same?
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?
Why does this fold create an angle of sixty degrees?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden squares?
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an isosceles, right angle triangle?
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?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
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. . . .
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 same radius.
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?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
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?
A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?
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?
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...
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".
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?
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?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid) parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
Chris and Jo put two red and four blue ribbons in a box. They each pick a ribbon from the box without looking. Jo wins if the two ribbons are the same colour. Is the game fair?
Some people offer advice on how to win at games of chance, or how to influence probability in your favour. Can you decide whether advice is good or not?
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?