How to build your own magic squares.
Use algebra to reason why 16 and 32 are impossible to create as the
sum of consecutive numbers.
A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection.
Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had
put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?
Attach weights of 1, 2, 4, and 8 units to the four attachment
points on the bar. Move the bar from side to side until you find a
balance point. Is it possible to predict that position?
Fifteen students had to travel 60 miles. They could use a car, which could only carry 5 students. As the car left with the first 5 (at 40 miles per hour), the remaining 10 commenced hiking along the. . . .
Balance the bar with the three weight on the inside.
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she
does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are
the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
Take a few whole numbers away from a triangle number. If you know
the mean of the remaining numbers can you find the triangle number
and which numbers were removed?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
The problem is how did Archimedes calculate the lengths of the sides of the polygons which needed him to be able to calculate square roots?
Find b where 3723(base 10) = 123(base b).
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?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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. . . .
Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is
multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square
Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?
If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is
the area of the shaded square?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when
the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the
intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
If you take two tests and get a marks out of a maximum b in the first and c marks out of d in the second, does the mediant (a+c)/(b+d)lie between the results for the two tests separately.
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take
three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then
add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on
each diagonal. What do you notice?
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. . . .
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
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. . . .
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten.
Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .
My train left London between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and arrived in Paris
between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. At the start and end of the journey the
hands on my watch were in exactly the same positions but the. . . .
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
A circle is inscribed in a triangle which has side lengths of 8, 15
and 17 cm. What is the radius of the circle?
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
A moveable screen slides along a mirrored corridor towards a
centrally placed light source. A ray of light from that source is
directed towards a wall of the corridor, which it strikes at 45
degrees. . . .
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with
a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a
layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Think of a number and follow my instructions. Tell me your answer, and I'll tell you what you started with! Can you explain how I know?
Think of a number... follow the machine's instructions. I know what
your number is! Can you explain how I know?
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces
of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had
no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
Two semi-circles (each of radius 1/2) touch each other, and a semi-circle of radius 1 touches both of them. Find the radius of the circle which touches all three semi-circles.
Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?
A mother wants to share a sum of money by giving each of her
children in turn a lump sum plus a fraction of the remainder. How
can she do this in order to share the money out equally?
32 x 38 = 30 x 40 + 2 x 8; 34 x 36 = 30 x 40 + 4 x 6; 56 x 54 = 50
x 60 + 6 x 4; 73 x 77 = 70 x 80 + 3 x 7 Verify and generalise if
A job needs three men but in fact six people do it. When it is
finished they are all paid the same. How much was paid in total,
and much does each man get if the money is shared as Fred suggests?
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering
the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way
that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
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?