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  • A world in itself

    From a height of some 50 metres, you have the entire ITER worksite at your feet. The long rectangle of the Diagnostics Building stands out in the centre, with [...]

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  • US completes toroidal field deliveries for ITER

    The US Domestic Agency achieved a major milestone in February by completing the delivery of all US-supplied toroidal field conductor to the European toroidal fi [...]

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  • Thin diagnostic coils to be fitted into giant magnets

    Last week was marked by the first delivery of diagnostic components—Continuous External Rogowski (CER) coils—from the European Domestic Agency to the ITER Organ [...]

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  • Addressing the challenge of plasma disruptions

    Plasma disruptions are fast events in tokamak plasmas that lead to the complete loss of the thermal and magnetic energy stored in the plasma. The plasma control [...]

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  • Blending (almost) seamlessly into the landscape

    Located in the foothills of the French Pre-Alps, the ITER installation blends almost seamlessly into the landscape. The architects' choice ofmirror-like steel c [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

Caps and gowns...in France?!?

 (Click to view larger version...)
Beginning at age 11-12, when they enter the class of sixième, and throughout their secondary studies until age 17-18, the life of a French student is entirely focused on passing the baccalauréat exam.

For more than two centuries, baccalauréat—from the Latin "laurel crown"—has been both a ritual of passage and the indispensable key to higher education.

The long road to the "bac," however, ends in a rather lackluster fashion: anxious students wait for their name to appear on a list (either on the internet or posted at the entrance of their lycée) and either rejoice or lament ... and that's the end of it. No graduation ceremony, no caps and gowns, no party—just names on a list.

However this year, one school in France decided that the passing of the bac deserved something better than the usual impersonal notification. The International School of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in Manosque, attended by some 500 "ITER children," had good reason to celebrate in style: 27 seniors, among them the first students in France to sit for the European bac, and all of them passed.

Parents and friends who attended the ceremony on Saturday 6 July were witness to a very unusual event in France: young bacheliers wearing anglo-saxon style gowns and tossing their cap into the air amidst cheers and applause.

"We wanted to celebrate all of our graduates and have a formal moment together before they all head off in a different direction," explains international school Director Bernard Fronsacq.

"The young graduates," he adds, "now have a very strong academic base. But in organizing this event, they have also acquired something that is very important for their future: they have learned to work as a team. We are all very, very happy."


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