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?
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.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
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?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
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?
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?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
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?
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
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?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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.
A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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?
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?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
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?
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?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
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?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
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?
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?
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?
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. . . .
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
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.
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard
table and then pass through its original position?
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...