A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
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?
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 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?
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
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
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?
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?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?
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?
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?
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
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
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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 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?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
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?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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
Find the sum of the series.
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard
table and then pass through its original position?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
Find the decimal equivalents of the fractions one ninth, one ninety
ninth, one nine hundred and ninety ninth etc. Explain the pattern
you get and generalise.
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Some 4 digit numbers can be written as the product of a 3 digit
number and a 2 digit number using the digits 1 to 9 each once and
only once. The number 4396 can be written as just such a product.
Can. . . .
What is the largest number which, when divided into 1905, 2587,
3951, 7020 and 8725 in turn, leaves the same remainder each time?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges
have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
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. . . .
The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is
the sum of the denominator and numerator?
Here is a chance to create some attractive images by rotating
shapes through multiples of 90 degrees, or 30 degrees, or 72
Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...