We want to increase knowledge and develop learning in mathematics. With new experiences for visitors and the education sector, we aim to create the conditions for greater innovation and entrepreneurship that leads to sustainable social development.
The world’s most important equation
We need mathematics, perhaps now more than ever. However, interest in the subject wanes as we get older. Many children lose interest in it as early as the age of 10-12 years, when the subject shifts from being concrete to more abstract.
Almost one in five pupils (17.4 per cent) in year 9 failed to achieve a pass mark (A-E) in national tests in Sweden in the spring term of 2019, and in the spring term of 2020 one in ten pupils finished their compulsory education without having attained the knowledge requirements.
Half of all students abandon engineering degrees before taking their exams – more than any other subject. A survey conducted by the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers (Sveriges Ingenjörer) found that a poor foundation in mathematics, more than any other subject, is the reason why many chose to abandon their course.
The West Sweden Chamber of Commerce’s (Västsvenska Handelskammaren) survey in 2016 of attitudes towards maths in Sweden found that only half of respondents felt comfortable helping their child with maths homework.
With its mathematics initiative, Universeum is looking to contribute to increasing knowledge and developing learning in the subject among all ages and at every level of education. With a focus on the usefulness of mathematics, from everyday life to research and development, we can make mathematics interesting and relevant for children, young people and adults. It is a tricky equation, but together we can solve it.
Looking ahead, it should encourage more people to apply for, and more importantly complete, studies in natural science and technology, where mathematics is a key requirement. In delivering that, we also create the conditions for greater innovation and entrepreneurship that leads to sustainable social development.
– Year after year we have seen reports on how knowledge of mathematics is declining among Swedish pupils. If we can reverse that trend, more people will be better equipped for further study and working life, which in the long run also benefits Swedish innovation and business.
Chairman Stefan Persson, Erling-Perssons Stiftelse