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
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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?
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players
take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single
pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.
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.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
How good are you at finding the formula for a number pattern ?
A tilted square is a square with no horizontal sides. Can you
devise a general instruction for the construction of a square when
you are given just one of its sides?
Show that for any triangle it is always possible to construct 3
touching circles with centres at the vertices. Is it possible to
construct touching circles centred at the vertices of any polygon?
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the
patterns of play are similar.
This is an interactivity in which you have to sort the steps in the
completion of the square into the correct order to prove the
formula for the solutions of quadratic equations.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Find all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with
3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same
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?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
A game for 2 players that can be played online. Players take it in turns to select a word from the 9 words given. The aim is to select all the occurrences of the same letter.
Can you find all the 4-ball shuffles?
Can you make a right-angled triangle on this peg-board by joining
up three points round the edge?
These formulae are often quoted, but rarely proved. In this article, we derive the formulae for the volumes of a square-based pyramid and a cone, using relatively simple mathematical concepts.
Six balls of various colours are randomly shaken into a trianglular
arrangement. What is the probability of having at least one red in
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Can you beat Piggy in this simple dice game? Can you figure out
Piggy's strategy, and is there a better one?
Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the
squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the
button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle
now. . . .
in how many ways can you place the numbers 1, 2, 3 … 9 in the
nine regions of the Olympic Emblem (5 overlapping circles) so that
the amount in each ring is the same?
A and B are two interlocking cogwheels having p teeth and q teeth respectively. One tooth on B is painted red. Find the values of p and q for which the red tooth on B contacts every gap on the. . . .
Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.
Can you give the coordinates of the vertices of the fifth point in
the patterm on this 3D grid?
On the 3D grid a strange (and deadly) animal is lurking. Using the tracking system can you locate this creature as quickly as possible?
You can move the 4 pieces of the jigsaw and fit them into both
outlines. Explain what has happened to the missing one unit of
There are 27 small cubes in a 3 x 3 x 3 cube, 54 faces being
visible at any one time. Is it possible to reorganise these cubes
so that by dipping the large cube into a pot of paint three times
you. . . .
Can you put the 25 coloured tiles into the 5 x 5 square so that no column, no row and no diagonal line have tiles of the same colour in them?
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
A right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point
of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the
square covered by the triangle as it rotates?
Use Excel to explore multiplication of fractions.
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red
counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the
other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
Ask a friend to choose a number between 1 and 63. By identifying which of the six cards contains the number they are thinking of it is easy to tell them what the number is.
A tool for generating random integers.
A collection of our favourite pictorial problems, one for each day
Here is a chance to play a fractions version of the classic
Practise your skills of proportional reasoning with this interactive haemocytometer.
This game challenges you to locate hidden triangles in The White
Box by firing rays and observing where the rays exit the Box.
Use this animation to experiment with lotteries. Choose how many
balls to match, how many are in the carousel, and how many draws to
make at once.
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
A simple spinner that is equally likely to land on Red or Black. Useful if tossing a coin, dropping it, and rummaging about on the floor have lost their appeal. Needs a modern browser; if IE then at. . . .