Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?
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?
An equilateral triangle is constructed on BC. A line QD is drawn, where Q is the midpoint of AC. Prove that AB // QD.
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?
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
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 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?
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. . . .
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
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.
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. . . .
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. . . .
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
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.
Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.
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.
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?
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
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.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
ABC is an equilateral triangle and P is a point in the interior of the triangle. We know that AP = 3cm and BP = 4cm. Prove that CP must be less than 10 cm.
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.
The circumcentres of four triangles are joined to form a quadrilateral. What do you notice about this quadrilateral as the dynamic image changes? Can you prove your conjecture?
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...
You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
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?
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?
What is the area of the quadrilateral APOQ? Working on the building blocks will give you some insights that may help you to work it out.
This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
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?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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.
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.
This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples for yourself.
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.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?