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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !
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A gymnasium (pronounced with a [ɡ] in several languages) is a type of school providing advanced secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. Historically the German Gymnasium also included in its overall accelerated curriculum postsecondary education at college level and the degree awarded substituted for the bachelor's degree (Baccalaureat) previously awarded by a college or university so that universites in Germany exclusively became graduate schools. In the US the German Gymnasium curriculum was used at some rather reputable universities like the University of Michigan as model for their undergraduate college programs. The word γυμνάσιον (gymnasion) was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men (see gymnasium (ancient Greece)). The latter meaning of a place of intellectual education persisted in German and other languages, whereas in English the meaning of a place for physical education was retained, more familiarly in the shortened form gym. The gymnasium prepares pupils to enter a university for advanced academic study.
In the Polish educational system the gimnazjum is a middle school (junior high school) for pupils aged 13 to 16. The same applies in the Greek educational system, with the additional option of Εσπερινό Γυμνάσιο (evening gymnasium) for adults and working students aged 14 upwards.
The gymnasium is a secondary school which prepares the student for higher education at a university. They are thus meant for the more academically minded students, who are sifted out at about the age of 10–13. In addition to the usual curriculum, students of a gymnasium often study Latin and Ancient Greek.
Some gymnasiums provide general education, others have a specific focus. (This also differs from country to country.) The four traditional branches are:
Today, a number of other areas of specialization exist, such as gymnasiums specializing in economics, technology or domestic sciences.
In some countries, there is a notion of progymnasium, which is equivalent to beginning classes of the full gymnasium, with the rights to continue education in a gymnasium. Here, the prefix "pro" means "instead".
In the German-speaking, the Central-European, the Nordic, the Benelux (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg) and the Baltic countries, this meaning for "gymnasium", that is a secondary school preparing the student for higher education at a university, has been the same at least since the Protestant reformation in the 16th century. The term was derived from the classical Greek word “gymnasium,” which was originally applied to an exercising ground in ancient Athens. Here teachers gathered and gave instruction between the hours devoted to physical exercises and sports, and thus the term became associated with and came to mean an institution of learning.
This use of the term did not prevail among the Romans, but was revived during the Renaissance in Italy, and from there passed into the Netherlands and Germany during the 15th century. In 1538, Johannes Sturm founded at Strassburg the school which became the model of the modern German gymnasium. In 1812, a Prussian regulation ordered that all schools which had the right to send their students to the university should bear the name of gymnasia. By the 20th century, this practice was followed in almost all German states, in Austria and in Russia.
In Austria the gymnasium has two stages, from the age of 11 - 14, and from 15 to 18, concluding with Matura. Historically, three types existed. The "Humanistisches Gymnasium" puts its focus on the old languages [[ancient Greek] and [[Latin]. The "Neusprachliches Gymnasium" puts its focus on actively spoken languages. The usual combination is English, French] and [Latin, sometimes French can be swapped with another foreign language (like Italian, Spanish, or Russian). The "Realgymnasium" puts its focus on science. In the last couple of decades more autonomy was granted to schools and various types were developped, putting the focus e.g. on sports, music, economy, and others.
In Denmark, Estonia, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Latvia, Norway and Sweden gymnasium consists of three years, usually starting at age 16 after nine or ten years of primary school. In Iceland and Lithuania the gymnasium usually consists of four years of schooling starting at the age of 16, the last year roughly corresponding to the first year of college.
In all of Scandinavia and the Nordic countries, education is meant to be free. This includes not only primary school, but most gymnasiums and universities as well, except in Iceland, where only primary school is free of charge. Furthermore, to help decrease the heritage of historic social injustice, all countries except Iceland have generous universal grants for students. However, entrance is competitive and based on merit.
In Denmark, there are four kinds of gymnasiums: stx (Regular Examination Programme), hhx (Higher Business Examination Programme), htx (Higher Technical Examination Programme) and hf (Higher Preparatory Examination Programme). To attend hf, it is a prerequisite that students add a voluntary tenth year to their primary school education. Hf then lasts only two years, instead of the three required for stx, hhx, and htx. All four type of gymnasiums theoretically gives the same eligibility for university. However because of different subjects offered, students may be better qualified in an area of further study. ex. HHX students have subjects that make them practically more eligible, for studies such as business studies or economy at university.
In the Faroe Islands, there are also four kinds of gymnasiums, which are equivalents to the Danish educations: Studentaskúli (equivalent to stx), Handilsskúli (hhx), Tekniski skúli (htx) and HF (hf). Studentaskúli and HF are usually located at the same institutions as can be seen in the name of the institute in Eysturoy: Studentaskúlin og HF-skeiðið í Eysturoy.
In Finland, the admissions to gymnasiums are competitive, the accepted people comprising 51 % of the age group. The gymnasiums concludes with the matriculation exam (Abitur), an exam whose grades are the main criteria for college admissions.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia, a gymnasium education takes four years following a compulsory eight or nine-year elementary education and ending with a final aptitude test called Matura. In Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Macedonia, the final test is standardized at the state level and serves as an entrance qualification for universities.
There are both public (state-run and tuition-free) and private (fee-paying) gymnasium schools in these countries.
The subjects taught are mathematics, the native language, one to three foreign languages, history, geography, informatics, the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics), history of art, music, philosophy, logic, physical education and the social sciences (sociology, ethics, psychology, politics and economy). Religious studies are optional. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia Latin is also an obligatory subject in all gymnasiums, just as Ancient Greek is in a certain type of gymnasiums called Classical Gymnasiums (klasična gimnazija).
In all these countries, the gymnasium (Gimnazija) is generally viewed as a destination for best performing students and as the type of school that serves primarily to prepare students for university, while other students go to technical/vocational schools. Therefore, gymnasiums often base their admittance criteria on an entrance exam, elementary school grades or some combination of the two.
German Gymnasiums are selective schools. They offer the academically most promising youngsters a quality education that is in most cases free (and in other cases at low cost). Gymnasiums may expel students who academically underperform their classmates or behave in a way that is seen as unacceptable. Pupils study subjects like German, mathematics, informatics, physics, chemistry, geography, biology, arts, music, physical education, religion, history, philosophy, civics/citizenship, and social sciences. They are also required to study at least two foreign languages. The usual combinations are English and French or English and Latin, although many schools make it possible to combine English or, in some cases, French, with another language, most often Spanish, Ancient Greek, or Russian. Religious education classes or "ethics" classes are compulsory. Generally the student is, however, allowed to choose which of these classes to take. The only exception to this is the state of Berlin in which only the subject ethics is mandatory for all students and classes in (Christian) religious studies can only be chosen additionally. A similar situation is to be found in Brandenburg where the subject life skills, ethics, and religious education (Lebensgestaltung, Ethik, Religionskunde – LER) is the primary subject but parents or students older than 13 can choose to replace it with (Christian) religious studies or even to take both. The intention behind LER is that students should get an objective insight on questions of personal development and ethics as well as on the major world religions.
For younger students nearly the entire curriculum of a Gymnasium is compulsory; in higher grades more elective subjects are available, but the choice is not as wide as in, for example, a US high school.
Although some specialist Gymnasiums have English or French as the language of instruction, at most Gymnasium lessons (apart from foreign language courses) are conducted in Standard German.
The number of years of instruction at a Gymnasium differs between the states. It varies between six to seven years in Berlin and Brandenburg (primary school includes six years in both as opposed to four years in the rest of Germany) and eight in Bavaria, Hessen and Baden-Württemberg among others. While in Saxony and Thuringia students have never been taught more than eight years in Gymnasium (by default), nearly all states are now providing the Abitur examinations, which complete the Gymnasium education, after 12 years in primary school and Gymnasium. In addition to that some states still or again offer a one year longer Abitur. These final examinations are centrally drafted and controlled (Zentralabitur) in all German states except for Rhineland-Palatinate and provide a qualification to attend any university.
The vast majority of Gymnasiums are public (i.e., state-funded) and do not charge tuition fees. Article 7, Paragraph 4 of the German Constitution forbids segregation of students according to the means of their parents (the so called Sonderungsverbot). Therefore, most private Gymnasiums only have low tuition fees and/or offer scholarships.
In Italy originally the Ginnasio indicated a typology of five-year junior high school (age 11 to 16) and preparing to the three year Liceo Classico (age 16 to 19), a high school focusing on classical studies and humanities. After the school reform that unified the junior high school system, the term Ginnasio stayed to indicate the first two year of Liceo Classico, now five years long. Oddly enough, an Italian high school student who enrolls in Liceo Classico follows this study path: Quarta Ginnasio (gymnasium fourth year, age 14), Quinta Ginnasio (gymnasium fifth year, age 15), Prima Liceo (Liceo first year, age 16), Seconda Liceo (Liceo second year, age 17) and Terza Liceo (Liceo third year, age 18). Some believe this still has some sense, since the two-year Ginnasio has a very different set of mind from the Liceo. Ginnasio students spend almost all their time studying Greek and Latin grammar, laying the bases for the "higher" and more complicated set of studies of the Liceo, such as Greek and Latin literature, Philosophy and Art History.
In the Netherlands, gymnasium is the highest variant of secondary education. They have the self-perception of offering the academically most promising youngsters a quality education that is in most cases free (and in other cases at low cost). Gymnasiums may expel students who academically underperform their classmates or behave in a way that is seen as unacceptable. It consists of six years, after 8 years (including kindergarten) of primary school, in which pupils study the same subjects as their German counterparts, with the addition of compulsory Ancient Greek, Latin and Klassieke Culturele Vorming, Classical Cultural Education, history of the Ancient Greek and Roman culture and literature. The equivalent without classical languages is called Atheneum, and gives access to the same university studies (although some extra classes are needed when starting a degree in classical languages or theology). All are government-funded. See vwo for the full article on Dutch "preparatory scientific education".
In the Czech Republic, gymnázium (also spelled gymnasium) is one type of schools that provide secondary education. There are three types of gymnázium distinguished by the length of study: eight-year, six-year and four-year types. It leads to the maturita exam.
Depending on country, the final degree (if any) is called Abitur, Artium, Diploma, Matura, Maturita or Student and it usually opens the way to professional schools directly. However, depending on which country the issuing school is located in, these degrees are occasionally not fully accredited internationally, and students willing to attend foreign university often have to submit to further exams to be permitted access to them. The final two or three years at a gymnasium can be seen as an equivalent to the first two years at college in the United States.
In countries like Canada or Austria, most university faculties only accept students from secondary schools that last four years (rather than three). This includes all Gymnasium students but only a part of vocational high schools, in effect making Gymnasium the preferred choice for all pupils aiming for university diplomas.
In Germany, other types of secondary school are called Realschule, Hauptschule and Gesamtschule. These are attended by about two-thirds of the students and the first two are practically unknown in other parts of the world. A Gesamtschule largely corresponds to a British or American high school. However, it offers the same school leaving certificates as the other three types of German secondary schools—the Hauptschulabschluss (school leaving certificate of a Hauptschule after 9th Grade or in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia after 10th Grade), the Realschulabschluss, also called Mittlere Reife (school leaving certificate of a Realschule after 10th Grade), and Abitur, also called Hochschulreife, after 12th Grade. Students who graduate from Hauptschule or Realschule may continue their schooling at a vocational school until they have full job qualifications. It is also possible to get an erweiterter Realschulabschluss after 10th grade that allows the students to continue their education at the Oberstufe of a gymnasium and get an Abitur. There are two types of vocational school in Germany. The Berufsschule, a part time vocational school and a part of Germany's dual education system, and the Berufsfachschule, a full time vocational school outside the dual education system. Both types of school are also part of Germany's secondary school system. Students who graduate from a vocational school and students who graduate with a good grade point average from a Realschule can continue their schooling at another type of German secondary school, the Fachoberschule, a vocational high school. The school leaving exam of this type of school, the Fachhochschulreife, enables the graduate to start studying at a Fachhochschule (polytechnic), and in Hesse also at a university within the state. Students who have graduated from vocational school and have been working in a job for at least three years can go to Berufsoberschule to get either a "Fachabitur" (meaning they may go to university, but they can only study the subjects belonging to the "branch" (economical, technical, social) they studied in at Berufschule.) after one year, or the normal "Abitur" (after two years), which gives them complete access to universities.
In Sweden, the term gymnasium was traditionally reserved for the theoretical education described above. However, due to the egalitarian strivings of post-war Sweden's social democratic governments, the term is today used for all kinds of secondary education, both theoretical and vocational.
|Wikisource has the text of a 1905 New International Encyclopedia article about Gymnasia and Realgymnasia.|