Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
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?
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. . . .
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.
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?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
Medieval stonemasons used a method to construct octagons using ruler and compasses... Is the octagon regular? Proof please.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
If a sum invested gains 10% each year how long before it has doubled its value?
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
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?
If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is the area of the shaded square?
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. . . .
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
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.
What is the total number of squares that can be made on a 5 by 5 geoboard?
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. . . .
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
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?
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?
A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
How good are you at finding the formula for a number pattern ?
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Can you explain what is going on in these puzzling number tricks?
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
What is special about the difference between squares of numbers adjacent to multiples of three?
Robert noticed some interesting patterns when he highlighted square numbers in a spreadsheet. Can you prove that the patterns will continue?
There are unexpected discoveries to be made about square numbers...
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
Account of an investigation which starts from the area of an annulus and leads to the formula for the difference of two squares.
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. . . .
Surprising numerical patterns can be explained using algebra and diagrams...
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.
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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?
Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .