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?
A jigsaw where pieces only go together if the fractions are
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.
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?
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take
60,000 men to build a similar wall?
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
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?
If: A + C = A; F x D = F; B - G = G; A + H = E; B / H = G; E - G =
F and A-H represent the numbers from 0 to 7 Find the values of A,
B, C, D, E, F and H.
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?
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
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid)
parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
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 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?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Think of two whole numbers under 10, and follow the steps. I can work out both your numbers very quickly. How?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and
two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
The number 2.525252525252.... can be written as a fraction. What is
the sum of the denominator and numerator?
What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
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 know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
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 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. . . .
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines 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
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
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?
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?
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
Explore when it is possible to construct a circle which just
touches all four sides of a quadrilateral.
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
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?
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?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
Here are four tiles. They can be arranged in a 2 by 2 square so that this large square has a green edge. If the tiles are moved around, we can make a 2 by 2 square with a blue edge... Now try to. . . .