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Broad Topics > Algebra > Creating expressions/formulae

Steel Cables

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

Quick Times

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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 possible.

Good Work If You Can Get It

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Crossed Ends

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?

Chocolate Maths

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

How Much Can We Spend?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Always the Same

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Even So

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?

Christmas Chocolates

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?

Painted Cube

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Special Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Cubes Within Cubes Revisited

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Summing Consecutive Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?

Terminology

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Triangle ABC is isosceles while triangle DEF is equilateral. Find one angle in terms of the other two.

Top-heavy Pyramids

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.

How Many Miles to Go?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Around and Back

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Always a Multiple?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...

Seven Squares

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Think of a number... follow the machine's instructions. I know what your number is! Can you explain how I know?

Fibs

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

Plum Tree

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level:

Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!

Marbles in a Box

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?

Number Pyramids

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Legs Eleven

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the 'back of the queue' and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. What properties do your answers always have?

Special Sums and Products

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.

Seven Up

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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)?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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?

One and Three

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Number Rules - OK

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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 number...

How Big?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is the area of the shaded square?

Triangles Within Pentagons

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.

Lower Bound

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

The Pillar of Chios

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

AMGM

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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?

Pick's Theorem

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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.

Multiplication Square

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

Triangles Within Triangles

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?

A Tilted Square

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?

Sum Equals Product

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .

What's Possible?

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?

Magic W

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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 total.

Hike and Hitch

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Pinned Squares

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

The diagram shows a 5 by 5 geoboard with 25 pins set out in a square array. Squares are made by stretching rubber bands round specific pins. What is the total number of squares that can be made on a. . . .

Days and Dates

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...

Boxed In

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

A box has faces with areas 3, 12 and 25 square centimetres. What is the volume of the box?

Partitioning Revisited

Stage: 3 Challenge Level:

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

Partially Painted Cube

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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?

Chocolate 2010

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...