The Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN) was established in 1966 as a research center for science education. As an institute of the Leibniz Association, the IPN has a nationwide function. It is also affiliated to the University of Kiel. The department heads at the IPN hold professorships at the University of Kiel.
The institute's mission is to advance science and mathematics education through its research. So research deals with the full scope of issues concerning teaching and learning in the sciences and mathematics inside and outside schools. The institute comprises six departments: Biology Education, Chemistry Education, Educational Measurement, Educational Research, Mathematics Education, and Physics Education. Approximately 180 people make up the IPN staff
IPN's tasks range across the entire field of science, mathematics and technology education. The IPN concentrates on long-term and nationwide research projects, which cannot be covered by universities.
Besides its research activities IPN offers different services (Coordination of national and international student competitions in biology, chemistry, physics and environmental issues, programs for teacher education, publications on science and mathematics education addressing teachers and scientists).