Mathematical tools – Part 3

On the morning of June 20, 1944, two weeks after D-Day, New York high school students sitting for the Plane Geometry Regents exam were asked to do the following construction:The task posed almost 70 years ago was not difficult, but it also wasn’t rote.  It required the test-taker to make connections and to solve a problem: to apply basic construction techniques to notions of similarity and its theorems.  Additionally, it required visualization skills: before actually drawing the lines and arcs necessary to complete the construction, students needed to envision the final picture.