You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) using Archive-It. This page was captured on 13:16:54 Dec 29, 2015, and is part of the UNESCO collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.
Loading media information hide

UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization



Science Education

Science Education
  • © UNESCO/P. Chiang-Joo

Capacity in science and technology is a key element in economic and social development. Promoting science education at all educational levels and scientific literacy in society in general is a fundamental building block to building a country’s capacity in science and technology. Science education has been a priority for UNESCO since its inception.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM) is important for developing and developed countries alike, to increase public awareness, understanding and literacy regarding science, engineering and technology, and also to enable developing countries to build up a critical mass of scientists, researchers and engineers to enable them to participate fully in the global economy. Particular emphasis is given to encouraging young people and especially young girls to pursue careers in science.

Science education is a key element in all UNESCO science, education and communication programmes. The programmes work together through the Intersectoral Platform on Science Education which has highlighted the need for more innovative methods for science teaching to encourage interest in science and engineering.

Programmes which contribute to the Intersectoral Platform include:

  • International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) promotes science education in mathematics, physics and chemistry as part of its mandate to foster international cooperation for capacity building in science



  • UNESCO’s Space Education Programme promotes space subjects and disciplines in schools and universities through workshops and promotes the integration of these subjects in the science curricula especially in developing countries


  • The International Year of Astronomy 2009 jointly being implemented by UNESCO and the International Astronomical Union is fostering outreach activities worldwide to promote interest in and understanding of the importance of astronomy and the basic sciences in daily like



  • UNESCO promotes scientific literacy through its activities in the field of science journalism and facilitating access to media content on scientific subjects in developing countries






Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific