Resources tagged with: Creating and manipulating expressions and formulae

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Broad Topics > Algebraic expressions, equations and formulae > Creating and manipulating expressions and formulae

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The Pillar of Chios

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to the area of the rectangle.

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Semi-square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?

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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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Salinon

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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Three Four Five

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Two semi-circles (each of radius 1/2) touch each other, and a semi-circle of radius 1 touches both of them. Find the radius of the circle which touches all three semi-circles.

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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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Sitting Pretty

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A circle of radius r touches two sides of a right angled triangle, sides x and y, and has its centre on the hypotenuse. Can you prove the formula linking x, y and r?

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Pareq Calc

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .

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Nicely Similar

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

If the hypotenuse (base) length is 100cm and if an extra line splits the base into 36cm and 64cm parts, what were the side lengths for the original right-angled triangle?

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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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Pythagoras Proofs

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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The Medieval Octagon

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Medieval stonemasons used a method to construct octagons using ruler and compasses... Is the octagon regular? Proof please.

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Square Pizza

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?

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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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Magic Squares for Special Occasions

Age 11 to 16

This article explains how to make your own magic square to mark a special occasion with the special date of your choice on the top line.

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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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How Big?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is the area of the shaded square?

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Magic Sums and Products

Age 11 to 16

How to build your own magic squares.

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Simplifying Doughnut

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

An algebra task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of others and responding.

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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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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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Algebra from Geometry

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Account of an investigation which starts from the area of an annulus and leads to the formula for the difference of two squares.

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Pinned Squares

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What is the total number of squares that can be made on a 5 by 5 geoboard?

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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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DOTS Division

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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}.

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Your Number Is...

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Think of a number and 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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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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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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Lower Bound

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Boxed In

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A box has faces with areas 3, 12 and 25 square centimetres. What is the volume of the box?

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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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Hand Swap

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

My train left London between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and arrived in Paris between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. At the start and end of the journey the hands on my watch were in exactly the same positions but the. . . .

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AMGM

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?

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Pick's Theorem

Age 14 to 16 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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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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Janine's Conjecture

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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There and Back

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Brian swims at twice the speed that a river is flowing, downstream from one moored boat to another and back again, taking 12 minutes altogether. How long would it have taken him in still water?

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Consecutive Squares

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The squares of any 8 consecutive numbers can be arranged into two sets of four numbers with the same sum. True of false?

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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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Triangles Within Squares

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?

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Triangles Within Triangles

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?

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Sixational

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .

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Marbles in a Box

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Training Schedule

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The heptathlon is an athletics competition consisting of 7 events. Can you make sense of the scoring system in order to advise a heptathlete on the best way to reach her target?

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Robert's Spreadsheet

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Robert noticed some interesting patterns when he highlighted square numbers in a spreadsheet. Can you prove that the patterns will continue?

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Diophantine N-tuples

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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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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Painted Cube

Age 14 to 16 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?