UNESCO's main activities in mathematics education puts emphasis on raising public awareness and interest, especially that of young people, in mathematical concepts and applications in daily life; on attracting youth into mathematics-related studies and careers; and showing that current curricula can be improved by insertion of hands-on mathematics experiments which develop scientific thinking as well as practical capabilities in mathematics and related sciences.
UNESCO promotes mathematics education globally and especially in developing countries, through international cooperation and partnerships with specialized organizations and unions among these the International Mathematics Union (IMU) and its commission for education (ICMI), the African Mathematical Union (AMU) and the UNESCO/UNITWIN network of chairs in mathematics.
The Organization supports activities that address the lack of interest by students in mathematics, and also those that aim at sensitizing teachers on both their knowledge of new developments in Mathematics as well as its significance to society. Consequently, following the World Mathematical Year in 2000, UNESCO and the Centre Sciences of Orléans (France) developed the hands-on educative mathematics exhibition “Experiencing Mathematics” for both young and more experienced academics. This UNESCO-supported International Travelling Mathematics Exhibition was conceptualized and designed to promote public appreciation of the importance of mathematics from basic economic activities to the operation of train stations and airports, as well as to demonstrate that mathematics can be fun and interesting. Experiencing Mathematics features posters, manipulative models and interactive devices showing the theory and implementation of its models and concepts.