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?

The diagram shows a regular pentagon with sides of unit length. Find all the angles in the diagram. Prove that the quadrilateral shown in red is a rhombus.

A blue coin rolls round two yellow coins which touch. The coins are the same size. How many revolutions does the blue coin make when it rolls all the way round the yellow coins? Investigate for a. . . .

Three frogs hopped onto the table. A red frog on the left a green in the middle and a blue frog on the right. Then frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to. . . .

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?

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?

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

An iterative method for finding the value of the Golden Ratio with explanations of how this involves the ratios of Fibonacci numbers and continued fractions.

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?

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. . . .

You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .

The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .

Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?

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...

Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.

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.

Let a(n) be the number of ways of expressing the integer n as an ordered sum of 1's and 2's. Let b(n) be the number of ways of expressing n as an ordered sum of integers greater than 1. (i) Calculate. . . .

Investigate the sequences obtained by starting with any positive 2 digit number (10a+b) and repeatedly using the rule 10a+b maps to 10b-a to get the next number in the sequence.

Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.

A circle has centre O and angle POR = angle QOR. Construct tangents at P and Q meeting at T. Draw a circle with diameter OT. Do P and Q lie inside, or on, or outside this circle?

Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.

There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

Prove that the internal angle bisectors of a triangle will never be perpendicular to each other.

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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. . . .

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.

What can you say about the angles on opposite vertices of any cyclic quadrilateral? Working on the building blocks will give you insights that may help you to explain what is special about them.

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

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?

In this 7-sandwich: 7 1 3 1 6 4 3 5 7 2 4 6 2 5 there are 7 numbers between the 7s, 6 between the 6s etc. The article shows which values of n can make n-sandwiches and which cannot.

Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry

Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?

Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?

In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...

ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD.

If I tell you two sides of a right-angled triangle, you can easily work out the third. But what if the angle between the two sides is not a right angle?

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.

Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .

Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.

The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.