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

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?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Visitors to Earth from the distant planet of Zub-Zorna were amazed when they found out that when the digits in this multiplication were reversed, the answer was the same! Find a way to explain. . . .

The Number Jumbler

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

The Number Jumbler can always work out your chosen symbol. Can you work out how?

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?

More Mathematical Mysteries

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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.

Seven Up

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The number 27 is special because it is three times the sum of its digits 27 = 3 (2 + 7). Find some two digit numbers that are SEVEN times the sum of their digits (seven-up numbers)?

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?

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...

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?

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?

Chocolate Maths

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

Legs Eleven

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the end and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. Did you get a multiple of 11?

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. . . .

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. . . .

Is it Magic or Is it Maths?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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?

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...

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?

Number Rules - OK

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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...

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?

Regular Hexagon Loops

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Really Mr. Bond

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

115^2 = (110 x 120) + 25, that is 13225 895^2 = (890 x 900) + 25, that is 801025 Can you explain what is happening and generalise?

Card Trick 1

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you explain how this card trick works?

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.

Enriching Experience

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find the five distinct digits N, R, I, C and H in the following nomogram

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.

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

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?

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?

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?

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Perimeter Expressions

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Create some shapes by combining two or more rectangles. What can you say about the areas and perimeters of the shapes you can make?

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.

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?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Think of a number Multiply it by 3 Add 6 Take away your start number Divide by 2 Take away your number. (You have finished with 3!) HOW DOES THIS WORK?

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?

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}.

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?

Never Prime

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.

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. . . .

Odd Differences

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = nĀ² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.

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. . . .

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?