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
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
Square numbers can be represented on the seven-clock (representing these numbers modulo 7). This works like the days of the week.
Choose any 4 whole numbers and take the difference between
consecutive numbers, ending with the difference between the first
and the last numbers. What happens when you repeat this process
over and. . . .
Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?
Make some intricate patterns in LOGO
Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the
digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what
happens in general.
Alison, Bernard and Charlie have been exploring sequences of odd and even numbers, which raise some intriguing questions...
Explore one of these five pictures.
What's the greatest number of sides a polygon on a dotty grid could have?
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
What is the total area of the first two triangles as a fraction of
the original A4 rectangle? What is the total area of the first
three triangles as a fraction of the original A4 rectangle? If. . . .
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which
seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the
foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
There are lots of ideas to explore in these sequences of ordered
Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums?
1/2 + 2/1 =
2/3 + 3/2 =
3/4 + 4/3 =
Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
Show that 8778, 10296 and 13530 are three triangular numbers and that they form a Pythagorean triple.
Can you show that 1^99 + 2^99 + 3^99 + 4^99 + 5^99 is divisible by
What is the remainder when 2^2002 is divided by 7? What happens
with different powers of 2?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
Can you find a way to identify times tables after they have been shifted up?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
A story for students about adding powers of integers - with a festive twist.
Investigate the successive areas of light blue in these diagrams.
Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16
pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these
pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
"Tell me the next two numbers in each of these seven minor spells",
chanted the Mathemagician, "And the great spell will crumble away!"
Can you help Anna and David break the spell?
Here is a machine with four coloured lights. Can you develop a strategy to work out the rules controlling each light?
If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what
numbers will come out?
I've made some cubes and some cubes with holes in. This challenge invites you to explore the difference in the number of small cubes I've used. Can you see any patterns?
In this activity, the computer chooses a times table and shifts it. Can you work out the table and the shift each time?
An environment which simulates working with Cuisenaire rods.
How many different ways can I lay 10 paving slabs, each 2 foot by 1
foot, to make a path 2 foot wide and 10 foot long from my back door
into my garden, without cutting any of the paving slabs?
Explore this how this program produces the sequences it does. What
are you controlling when you change the values of the variables?
Three people chose this as a favourite problem. It is the sort of
problem that needs thinking time - but once the connection is made
it gives access to many similar ideas.
Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...
A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
Explain why the arithmetic sequence 1, 14, 27, 40, ... contains many terms of the form 222...2 where only the digit 2 appears.
What are the next three numbers in this sequence? Can you explain
why are they called pyramid numbers?
July 1st 2001 was on a Sunday. July 1st 2002 was on a Monday. When
did July 1st fall on a Monday again?
In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st,
2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice
about the answers?
How do you know if your set of dominoes is complete?
If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different
ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.