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

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. . . .

Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to get a different number Find the difference between the two three digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .

Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

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?

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?

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.

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?

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

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.

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?

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. . . .

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?

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...

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.

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.

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?

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

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

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

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?

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

Points A, B and C are the centres of three circles, each one of which touches the other two. Prove that the perimeter of the triangle ABC is equal to the diameter of the largest circle.

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?

Take any pair of two digit numbers x=ab and y=cd where, without loss of generality, ab > cd . Form two 4 digit numbers r=abcd and s=cdab and calculate: {r^2 - s^2} /{x^2 - y^2}.

Euler found four whole numbers such that the sum of any two of the numbers is a perfect square...

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?

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 explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?

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.

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

Clearly if a, b and c are the lengths of the sides of an equilateral triangle then a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = ab + bc + ca. Is the converse true?

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

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?

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

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

Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?

Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

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.

The country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .

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.