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Our History

We have been supporting and developing science education for 24 years


PSTT’s history stretches back to 1997, when we were officially established as a charitable trust under the name of Zeneca Science Teaching Trust.

  • Over the last 24 years, we have gone from strength to strength. We are now one of the major voices in the area of primary science education and despite our focus being on UK teaching only, we have developed an international reputation.
  • We continue to work with teachers, partners, higher education institutions and local authorities to develop and disseminate excellence in primary science.


  • In the late 1990s, the pharmaceutical company Zeneca was approached by the UK government to encourage it to think about how it would mark the Millennium in 2000. Having considered possible ways forward, Dr Peter Doyle (at the time Zeneca Research Director; now Patron of the PSTT) persuaded the Board that an appropriate way to do this might be to establish a charitable trust to support science teaching in UK schools.
  • At this time, many industries contributed to promoting science education but most concentrated on secondary schools and university programmes. Thus, in 1997, the Zeneca Science Teaching Trust was established with a Trust Fund of £20,000,000 and became a totally independent charity.
  • The Trust focused on supporting projects (through grant rounds) to develop the quantity and quality of science in primary schools; in particular developing the confidence and competence of primary teachers.
  • In 1999, the Zeneca Group merged with the Swedish company Astra AB to form AstraZeneca PLC and the Trust became the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust (AZSTT). The Trust operated under this name until 2013 when it was changed to the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT).


  • During the 2000s, the Trust supported the development of its first teacher resources and CPD units. Resources such as ‘Thinking Science’ and ‘Floorbooks’ were popular amongst the teaching communities.
  • By 2001 the Trust had invested over £1.8 million in primary science.
  • Between the years of 2002 and 2007 the Trust invested a further £1.5 million on primary and transition projects.
  • In 2007, the Trust started to support KS3 level projects, investing on average £500,000 per annum into project funding.


  • In 2010, the Trust changed direction, moving into a new phase, with a new strategy that built on the excellent work of the previous 15 years. It stopped its annual grant rounds and re-focused its funding to primary science alone.
  • The AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust underwent a change in name and brand in 2012 to reflect our shift in focus, the new name being the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT).
  • In 2014, the “I can explain!” resource was launched and immediately disseminated to over 100 schools. This innovative resource is still popular (and since 2020 has been made available through TTS Group).
  • In 2014, Primary Science Teaching Trust Trading Ltd was launched to develop and disseminate resources made by teachers for teachers. By 2019, the PSTT had created 10 commercial resources in addition to a huge range of freely accessible ones.
  • In 2015, we officially launched our Cluster Programme, involving 10 clusters of schools across the UK.
  • By the end of 2015, the Primary Science Teacher College consisted of 150 Fellows and we had invested over £10 million in science education.
  • In 2019, the Primary Science Teaching Trust held its second international Primary Science Education Conference, PSEC, in Edinburgh, following the success of its first in Belfast, 2016.


Our vision for the future is simple.

We want to see excellent teaching of science in every primary classroom in the UK.

Find out more about our vision here.



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