Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...

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. . . .

The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.

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.

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

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

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.

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.

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?

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .

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. . . .

Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?

Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?

Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

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.

Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?

List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?

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

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?

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

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 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?

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?

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

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

Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?

Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or subtract consecutive negative numbers?

Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.

It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

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

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

Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?

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

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?

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.

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.

The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?