Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
Medieval stonemasons used a method to construct octagons using ruler and compasses... Is the octagon regular? Proof please.
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is the area of the shaded square?
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. . . .
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
How to build your own magic squares.
How good are you at finding the formula for a number pattern ?
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.
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. . . .
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?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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. . . .
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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. . . .
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. . . .
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?
Can you explain how this card trick works?
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of others and responding.
Surprising numerical patterns can be explained using algebra and diagrams...
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
What is the total number of squares that can be made on a 5 by 5 geoboard?
Account of an investigation which starts from the area of an annulus and leads to the formula for the difference of two squares.
Can you explain what is going on in these puzzling number tricks?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
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?
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 box has faces with areas 3, 12 and 25 square centimetres. What is the volume of the box?
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. . . .
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
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?
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 could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
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. . . .
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Play around with the Fibonacci sequence and discover some surprising results!
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. . . .
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. . . .