Use algebra to reason why 16 and 32 are impossible to create as the
sum of consecutive numbers.
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?
Balance the bar with the three weight on the inside.
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. . . .
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
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.
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. . . .
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make
their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Find the five distinct digits N, R, I, C and H in the following
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
First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like
to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...
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. . . .
Find all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with
3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same
A 2-Digit number is squared. When this 2-digit number is reversed
and squared, the difference between the squares is also a square.
What is the 2-digit number?
Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number.
Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this
process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
How many more miles must the car travel before the numbers on the milometer and the trip meter contain the same digits in the same order?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the
numbers is always less than one plus their product?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
How to build your own magic squares.
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Think of a number... follow the machine's instructions. I know what
your number is! Can you explain how I know?
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?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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. . . .
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is
the area of the shaded square?
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?
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?
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
The number 27 is special because it is three times the sum of its digits 27 = 3 (2 + 7). Find some two digit numbers that are SEVEN times the sum of their digits (seven-up numbers)?
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?
The well known Fibonacci sequence is 1 ,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21....
How many Fibonacci sequences can you find containing the number 196
as one of the terms?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.
A box has faces with areas 3, 12 and 25 square centimetres. What is
the volume of the box?
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.
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. . . .
A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
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. . . .
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?
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...
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
In a snooker game the brown ball was on the lip of the pocket but
it could not be hit directly as the black ball was in the way. How
could it be potted by playing the white ball off a cushion?