IMF Center

EconEd Online

Visit the IMF Center

720 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
More Info and Directions

The IMF Center welcomes you Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

We feature exhibits, a mini-theatre with videos on the IMF, a bookstore and a gift shop.

The Center hosts the Economic Forum series with panel discussions on current events, educational outreach programs and group briefings.

"If ignorance paid dividends, most Americans could make a fortune out of what they don't know about economics."
—Luther H. Hodges, US Secretary of Commerce

Economics is central to our lives, affecting how we work and play, spend and save, and relate to others in our national and global society. As part of our mission to promote the health of the global economy, the International Monetary Fund supports economics education. We have developed many educational activities and resources to help students understand the history of money, macroeconomics and the importance of international monetary cooperation, and the value of global trade. We invite you to explore these resources.

Student Interactives

Where in the World and What in the World is Money? icon Where in the World & What in the World is Money?
(5-6 grade)
Teacher guide
What is money—those little round coins and paper bills printed by the government with someone's face on one side, right? What if money isn't a coin or a banknote or even a credit card? Throughout history and around the globe, many different objects have served as money. Play this game to find out just what money has been.
Trading Around the World icon Trading Around the World
(5-8 grade)
Teacher guide
Experience the challenges and excitement of international trade in this interactive game. See if you can get the best price for the goods you sell and the biggest bargains for the goods you buy. Watch how the global economy is doing: the prices you'll be able to get and the deals you can make depend on how healthy the global economy is.
Inside Money video icon Inside Money video
(9-12 grade)
Teacher guide
An animated video (running time: 11:53, media player format) that explains how a government and the IMF work cooperatively to solve a country's economic problems. The action takes place on a TV news magazine show with scenes from the country and interviews with policy-makers in an informative and entertaining format.
Monetary Mania icon Monetary Mania
español | français
(High School)
Teacher guide
An online game show that tests your knowledge about money and macroeconomics.
  • Why do we need the IMF?
    español | français
    Teacher guide

    Before people can buy or sell anything across national borders, they must be able to change their money to the other currency. The IMF works to help member countries ensure that they always have enough foreign exchange to continue to do business with the rest of the world. In this interactive, explore an imaginary scenario to see what would happen if the IMF did not exist to resolve a currency crisis.

  • What does the IMF do?
    español | français
    Teacher guide

    Collecting and sharing accurate, objective economic information about member countries is one of the IMF's most important jobs, and can prevent nasty surprises in international trade and monetary exchange. In this interactive, become an IMF economist and conduct an annual "checkup" of the economy of one of the IMF's member countries.

  • How can the IMF help in crisis?
    español | français
    Teacher guide

    Getting a member country's economy back on track. When a country imports more than it exports, it has a "trade deficit," which can hurt both that country and others that it trades with. The IMF helps member countries cope with foreign exchange shortages caused by balance of payments problems. In this interactive, see how the IMF can help a member country recover from a severe trade deficit.


  • All About Money Curriculum
    (5-8 grade)
    Teacher guide

    Adrian, our mascot, takes you through our lesson plan preparations for a school visit to the IMF Center to learn about money, international trade, and cooperation. The entire package can be downloaded for use in the classroom.

  • Money Matters Curriculum
    (High school)
    Teacher guide

    A combination of classroom experiences and/or a field trip visit to the exhibit to promote students' understanding of the history of the international monetary system, globalization, international economic cooperation, and the work of the IMF.

  • Thinking Globally: Effective Lessons for Teaching about the Interdependent World Economy
    (High school)

    Classroom-tested lessons on globalization, comparative advantage, economic growth, exchange rates, and other international topics. The eight lessons are available on a single CD-ROM free of charge to educators (or use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to download PDFs of the lessons below).

    These lessons are also available in: French, Spanish, Russian (9,708KB pdf file), Arabic (6,379KB pdf file), and Bahasa (727KB pdf file).

    Lessons #1 and 2 focus on the IMF and its role in the global economy.

    Lesson# 1: Ten Basic Questions about Globalization focuses on the history, impact and future implications of living in a globalized economic system. (87KB pdf file)

    Lesson# 2: What is the IMF and What Does it Do? Introduces the IMF and its role in fostering global economic stability through monetary and financial cooperation. (84KB pdf file)

    Lessons #3-8, on trade, international organizations, currencies and foreign exchange, are previously-released lesson plans produced by NCEE.

    Lesson# 3: Why People Trade Students participate in a trading simulation and use this experience to discover the benefits of free trade. (128KB pdf file)

    Lesson# 4: Comparative Advantage and Trade in a Global Economy Students observe or participate in a role-play situation in which one person is better at both of two activities. (143KB pdf file)

    Lesson# 5: "Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Why Do We Need the WTO?" Several activities are used to introduce students to six international institutions that play important economic roles, especially in the areas of international trade, finance and development. (773KB pdf file)

    Lesson# 6: Why are Some Nations Wealthy? Students work in groups to examine data from several nations regarding size, natural resources and population. (86KB pdf file)

    Lesson# 7: Foreign Currencies and Foreign Exchange Students participate in a simulated foreign exchange market. Provides an opportunity for students to use supply and demand analysis to explain how flexible exchange rates are established in currency markets. (177KB pdf file)

    Lesson# 8: Exchange Rates: Money around the World Students participate in two auctions to demonstrate the determination of flexible exchange rates and the need for foreign currency to purchase goods from other countries. (150KB pdf file)

Online Exhibitions & Facts