The problem is how did Archimedes calculate the lengths of the sides of the polygons which needed him to be able to calculate square roots?

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

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. . . .

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.

I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?

Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.

Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?

Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?

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. . . .

Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?

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}.

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. . . .

In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with digits so that the arithmetic is correct.

Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.

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?

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

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...

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

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. . . .

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

Carry out cyclic permutations of nine digit numbers containing the digits from 1 to 9 (until you get back to the first number). Prove that whatever number you choose, they will add to the same total.

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. . . .

Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.

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?

I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?

I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?

There are 12 identical looking coins, one of which is a fake. The counterfeit coin is of a different weight to the rest. What is the minimum number of weighings needed to locate the fake coin?

This jar used to hold perfumed oil. It contained enough oil to fill granid silver bottles. Each bottle held enough to fill ozvik golden goblets and each goblet held enough to fill vaswik crystal. . . .

Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?

How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?

Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.

Let a(n) be the number of ways of expressing the integer n as an ordered sum of 1's and 2's. Let b(n) be the number of ways of expressing n as an ordered sum of integers greater than 1. (i) Calculate. . . .

Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.

Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle now. . . .

Find the smallest positive integer N such that N/2 is a perfect cube, N/3 is a perfect fifth power and N/5 is a perfect seventh power.

I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?

If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?

You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?

What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.

The country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.