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Broad Topics > Algebra > Creating expressions/formulae

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Seven Squares

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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Your Number Was...

Age 11 to 14 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?

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Partly Painted Cube

Age 14 to 16 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?

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Christmas Chocolates

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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How Much Can We Spend?

Age 11 to 14 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?

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Pythagoras Proofs

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?

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Can They Be Equal?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?

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Crossed Ends

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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Interactive Number Patterns

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

How good are you at finding the formula for a number pattern ?

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Gutter

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?

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Sums of Pairs

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”

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Areas of Parallelograms

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?

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Cubes Within Cubes Revisited

Age 11 to 14 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?

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Partitioning Revisited

Age 11 to 14 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

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Multiplication Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Painted Cube

Age 11 to 14 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?

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Your Number Is...

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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Perfectly Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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Pair Products

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

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Special Numbers

Age 11 to 14 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?

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How Many Miles to Go?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

How many more miles must the car travel before the numbers on the milometer and the trip meter contain the same digits in the same order?

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Leonardo's Problem

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection. Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?

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Pick's Theorem

Age 11 to 14 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.

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Terminology

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?

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Attractive Tablecloths

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?

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Marbles in a Box

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?

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Number Rules - OK

Age 14 to 16 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...

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Lens Angle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.

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What's Possible?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Fair Shares?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A mother wants to share a sum of money by giving each of her children in turn a lump sum plus a fraction of the remainder. How can she do this in order to share the money out equally?

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Unit Interval

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?

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One and Three

Age 14 to 16 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. . . .

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Legs Eleven

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the end and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. Did you get a multiple of 11?

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Odd Differences

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

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Fibs

Age 11 to 14 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?

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2-digit Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A 2-Digit number is squared. When this 2-digit number is reversed and squared, the difference between the squares is also a square. What is the 2-digit number?

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Summing Consecutive Numbers

Age 11 to 14 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?

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Days and Dates

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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Steel Cables

Age 14 to 16 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?

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Generating Triples

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?

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Always a Multiple?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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How Do You React?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

To investigate the relationship between the distance the ruler drops and the time taken, we need to do some mathematical modelling...

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' Tis Whole

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Take a few whole numbers away from a triangle number. If you know the mean of the remaining numbers can you find the triangle number and which numbers were removed?

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Reasonable Algebra

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Use algebra to reason why 16 and 32 are impossible to create as the sum of consecutive numbers.

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Balance Point

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Attach weights of 1, 2, 4, and 8 units to the four attachment points on the bar. Move the bar from side to side until you find a balance point. Is it possible to predict that position?

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Inside Outside

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Balance the bar with the three weight on the inside.

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Screen Shot

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A moveable screen slides along a mirrored corridor towards a centrally placed light source. A ray of light from that source is directed towards a wall of the corridor, which it strikes at 45 degrees. . . .

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Triangles Within Pentagons

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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