I keep three circular medallions in a rectangular box in which they just fit with each one touching the other two. The smallest one has radius 4 cm and touches one side of the box, the middle sized. . . .

The area of a regular pentagon looks about twice as a big as the pentangle star drawn within it. Is it?

Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg in a square hole?

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 ladder 3m long rests against a wall with one end a short distance from its base. Between the wall and the base of a ladder is a garden storage box 1m tall and 1m high. What is the maximum distance. . . .

The largest square which fits into a circle is ABCD and EFGH is a square with G and H on the line CD and E and F on the circumference of the circle. Show that AB = 5EF. Similarly the largest. . . .

A ribbon runs around a box so that it makes a complete loop with two parallel pieces of ribbon on the top. How long will the ribbon be?

Prove Pythagoras Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.

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?

Equal circles can be arranged so that each circle touches four or six others. What percentage of the plane is covered by circles in each packing pattern? ...

Draw two circles, each of radius 1 unit, so that each circle goes through the centre of the other one. What is the area of the overlap?

A ribbon is nailed down with a small amount of slack. What is the largest cube that can pass under the ribbon ?

A circle touches the lines OA, OB and AB where OA and OB are perpendicular. Show that the diameter of the circle is equal to the perimeter of the triangle

Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .

What is the same and what is different about these circle questions? What connections can you make?

A tennis ball is served from directly above the baseline (assume the ball travels in a straight line). What is the minimum height that the ball can be hit at to ensure it lands in the service area?

If a ball is rolled into the corner of a room how far is its centre from the corner?

Is the sum of the squares of two opposite sloping edges of a rectangular based pyramid equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sloping edges?

Find the sides of an equilateral triangle ABC where a trapezium BCPQ is drawn with BP=CQ=2 , PQ=1 and AP+AQ=sqrt7 . Note: there are 2 possible interpretations.

A fire-fighter needs to fill a bucket of water from the river and take it to a fire. What is the best point on the river bank for the fire-fighter to fill the bucket ?.

Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q such that APCQ is a rhombus.

Explain how the thirteen pieces making up the regular hexagon shown in the diagram can be re-assembled to form three smaller regular hexagons congruent to each other.

If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.

Six circular discs are packed in different-shaped boxes so that the discs touch their neighbours and the sides of the box. Can you put the boxes in order according to the areas of their bases?

A white cross is placed symmetrically in a red disc with the central square of side length sqrt 2 and the arms of the cross of length 1 unit. What is the area of the disc still showing?

Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?

If the altitude of an isosceles triangle is 8 units and the perimeter of the triangle is 32 units.... What is the area of the triangle?

A half-cube is cut into two pieces by a plane through the long diagonal and at right angles to it. Can you draw a net of these pieces? Are they identical?

The ten arcs forming the edges of the "holly leaf" are all arcs of circles of radius 1 cm. Find the length of the perimeter of the holly leaf and the area of its surface.

There are thirteen axes of rotational symmetry of a unit cube. Describe them all. What is the average length of the parts of the axes of symmetry which lie inside the cube?

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?

Liethagoras, Pythagoras' cousin (!), was jealous of Pythagoras and came up with his own theorem. Read this article to find out why other mathematicians laughed at him.

It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?

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?

This article for pupils and teachers looks at a number that even the great mathematician, Pythagoras, found terrifying.

Read all about Pythagoras' mathematical discoveries in this article written for students.

Pythagoras of Samos was a Greek philosopher who lived from about 580 BC to about 500 BC. Find out about the important developments he made in mathematics, astronomy, and the theory of music.

You are given a circle with centre O. Describe how to construct with a straight edge and a pair of compasses, two other circles centre O so that the three circles have areas in the ratio 1:2:3.

It is obvious that we can fit four circles of diameter 1 unit in a square of side 2 without overlapping. What is the smallest square into which we can fit 3 circles of diameter 1 unit?

What remainders do you get when square numbers are divided by 4?

Three squares are drawn on the sides of a triangle ABC. Their areas are respectively 18 000, 20 000 and 26 000 square centimetres. If the outer vertices of the squares are joined, three more. . . .

Prove that a triangle with sides of length 5, 5 and 6 has the same area as a triangle with sides of length 5, 5 and 8. Find other pairs of non-congruent isosceles triangles which have equal areas.

A rectangular field has two posts with a ring on top of each post. There are two quarrelsome goats and plenty of ropes which you can tie to their collars. How can you secure them so they can't. . . .

ABCDEFGH is a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. Point P is 1/3 along AB (that is AP : PB = 1 : 2), point Q is 1/3 along GH and point R is 1/3 along ED. What is the area of the triangle PQR?

Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.

Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .

Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.

ABC and DEF are equilateral triangles of side 3 and 4 respectively. Construct an equilateral triangle whose area is the sum of the area of ABC and DEF.