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

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?”

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?

Regular Hexagon Loops

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?

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?

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.

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?

Mind Reading

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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?

Always the Same

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

Chocolate 2010

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...

Mindreader

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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?

Think of Two Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Think of two whole numbers under 10, and follow the steps. I can work out both your numbers very quickly. How?

Multiply the Addition Square

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

If you take a three by three square on a 1-10 addition square and multiply the diagonally opposite numbers together, what is the difference between these products. Why?

Summing Consecutive Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

15 = 7 + 8 and 10 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers?

Card Trick 1

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you explain how this card trick works?

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

Dating Made Easier

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

If a sum invested gains 10% each year how long before it has doubled its value?

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?

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.

Top-heavy Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.

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?

Special Sums and Products

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

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?

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?

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?

Triangles Within Pentagons

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

Magic Sums and Products

Age 11 to 16

How to build your own magic squares.

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?

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?

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...

Good Work If You Can Get It

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A job needs three men but in fact six people do it. When it is finished they are all paid the same. How much was paid in total, and much does each man get if the money is shared as Fred suggests?

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?

Why 8?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Choose any four consecutive even numbers. Multiply the two middle numbers together. Multiply the first and last numbers. Now subtract your second answer from the first. Try it with your own. . . .

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?

Adding in Rows

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?

Hallway Borders

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

What are the possible dimensions of a rectangular hallway if the number of tiles around the perimeter is exactly half the total number of tiles?

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.

Sum Equals Product

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .

Quick Times

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

32 x 38 = 30 x 40 + 2 x 8; 34 x 36 = 30 x 40 + 4 x 6; 56 x 54 = 50 x 60 + 6 x 4; 73 x 77 = 70 x 80 + 3 x 7 Verify and generalise if possible.

Even So

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

Hot Pursuit

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

I added together the first 'n' positive integers and found that my answer was a 3 digit number in which all the digits were the same...

AMGM

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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?

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?

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?

Unusual Long Division - Square Roots Before Calculators

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

However did we manage before calculators? Is there an efficient way to do a square root if you have to do the work yourself?

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?

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}.

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?