Why & How board

Our History

We have been supporting the development of primary science education for over 25 years.


PSTT was founded in 1997 as the Zeneca Science Teaching Trust.

Since then, we have become one of the major voices in primary science education. While our focus is on UK teaching, we have developed an international reputation. We continue to work with teachers, partners, universities and others to drive excellence in primary science.

Teacher giving a speech


In the late 1990s, the pharmaceutical company Zeneca considered several ways to mark the millennium in 2000. The Research Director, Dr Peter Doyle (now Patron of PSTT), persuaded the Board that a good approach would be to set up a charitable trust to support science teaching in UK schools. In 1997, the Zeneca Science Teaching Trust was established as an independent charity with a trust fund of £20,000,000.

At the time, many industries contributed to promoting science education but most concentrated on secondary schools and universities. The Trust therefore decided to support projects with a particular focus on primary schools – especially developing the confidence and competence of primary teachers.

In 1999, the Zeneca Group merged with the Swedish company Astra AB to form AstraZeneca PLC. The Trust became the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust (AZSTT).


During the 2000s, the Trust supported the development of primary science teaching resources and CPD units. Resources such as ‘Thinking Science’ and ‘Floorbooks’ were especially popular amongst teachers.

By 2001 we had invested over £1.8 million in primary science. Between 2002 and 2007, we invested a further £1.5 million on primary and transition projects.

In 2007, we started to support projects at Key Stage 3, and invested around £500,000 per year into project funding.


In 2010, we changed direction, adopting a new strategy that built on the excellent work of the previous 15 years. We stopped offering annual grant rounds and refocused our funding to primary science alone.

In 2012 we changed our name to reflect our shift in focus, becoming the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT).

In 2014, we launched I Can Explain! and disseminated it to over 100 schools. The resources remains popular and since 2020 has been available through TTS Group.


In 2014, we established a trading arm to develop and disseminate resources made by teachers for teachers. By 2019, we had created 10 commercial resources in addition to a huge range of freely accessible ones.

In 2015, we launched our Cluster Programme, involving 10 local clusters of schools across the UK.

By the end of 2015, the Primary Science Teacher College boasted 150 Fellows and we had invested over £10 million in science education.

In 2019, we held our second international Primary Science Education Conference, PSEC, in Edinburgh.


PSTT remains a thriving, active charity with a dedicated staff team and a clear vision: to see excellent science teaching in every primary school in the UK.

In 2023, we will launch a new strategy, with plans to increase our impact over the coming five years.