Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
Three rods of different lengths form three sides of an enclosure
with right angles between them. What arrangement maximises the area
Can you prove this formula for finding the area of a quadrilateral from its diagonals?
A trapezium is divided into four triangles by its diagonals.
Suppose the two triangles containing the parallel sides have areas
a and b, what is the area of the trapezium?
A farmer has a field which is the shape of a trapezium as
illustrated below. To increase his profits he wishes to grow two
different crops. To do this he would like to divide the field into
two. . . .
Can you find a general rule for finding the areas of equilateral triangles drawn on an isometric grid?
Four quadrants are drawn centred at the vertices of a square . Find
the area of the central region bounded by the four arcs.
Can you choose your units so that a cube has the same numerical value for it volume, surface area and total edge length?
Investigate the properties of quadrilaterals which can be drawn
with a circle just touching each side and another circle just
touching each vertex.
If the base of a rectangle is increased by 10% and the area is
unchanged, by what percentage (exactly) is the width decreased by ?
If I print this page which shape will require the more yellow ink?
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?
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. . . .
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
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
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two
people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and
diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
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?
Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
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.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
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.
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?
In this problem we are faced with an apparently easy area problem,
but it has gone horribly wrong! What happened?
I'm thinking of a rectangle with an area of 24. What could its perimeter be?
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
Make an eight by eight square, the layout is the same as a
chessboard. You can print out and use the square below. What is the
area of the square? Divide the square in the way shown by the red
dashed. . . .
A hallway floor is tiled and each tile is one foot square. Given
that the number of tiles around the perimeter is EXACTLY half the
total number of tiles, find the possible dimensions of the hallway.
Which is a better fit, a square peg in a round hole or a round peg
in a square hole?
Straight lines are drawn from each corner of a square to the mid
points of the opposite sides. Express the area of the octagon that
is formed at the centre as a fraction of the area of the square.
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 tower of squares is built inside a right angled isosceles
triangle. The largest square stands on the hypotenuse. What
fraction of the area of the triangle is covered by the series of
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
What happens to the area and volume of 2D and 3D shapes when you
Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?
How can you change the area of a shape but keep its perimeter the same? How can you change the perimeter but keep the area the same?
Cut off three right angled isosceles triangles to produce a
pentagon. With two lines, cut the pentagon into three parts which
can be rearranged into another square.
What is the same and what is different about these circle
questions? What connections can you make?
A red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
Points P, Q, R and S each divide the sides AB, BC, CD and DA respectively in the ratio of 2 : 1. Join the points. What is the area of the parallelogram PQRS in relation to the original rectangle?
Determine the total shaded area of the 'kissing triangles'.
It is possible to dissect any square into smaller squares. What is
the minimum number of squares a 13 by 13 square can be dissected
Identical squares of side one unit contain some circles shaded blue. In which of the four examples is the shaded area greatest?
Seven small rectangular pictures have one inch wide frames. The
frames are removed and the pictures are fitted together like a
jigsaw to make a rectangle of length 12 inches. Find the dimensions
of. . . .
Is it possible to remove ten unit cubes from a 3 by 3 by 3 cube made from 27 unit cubes so that the surface area of the remaining solid is the same as the surface area of the original 3 by 3 by 3. . . .
Which has the greatest area, a circle or a square inscribed in an
isosceles, right angle triangle?
You can move the 4 pieces of the jigsaw and fit them into both
outlines. Explain what has happened to the missing one unit of