Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take
60,000 men to build a similar wall?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
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?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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.
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?
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. The Greedy Algorithm might provide us with an efficient
way of doing this.
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
How many more miles must the car travel before the numbers on the milometer and the trip meter contain the same digits in the same order?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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?
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 maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
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. . . .
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...
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?
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
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?
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?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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?
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.
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter
of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to
Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.
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 jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are
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?
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges
have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
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?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
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?
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 ?
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?
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?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard
table and then pass through its original position?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
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?
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?