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Pfizer launches 'Breakthrough Science School Programme' to support STEM education across the UK

Inspiring young people to pursue a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) is pivotal to our future – something now made easier through our Breakthrough Science programme. 

About the Programme

Pfizer’s new Breakthrough Science School Programme delivers four supercharged science lessons that blend the UK science curriculum with real-world applications of science.

Through presentation decks and step-by-step lesson guides, teachers can take their students on an exploration of key chemistry and biology topics, and uncover how science is used every day in the pharmaceutical industry and other STEM industries. The ready-made lessons include our ‘Science Story’ video series, where real-life STEM professionals share details of their STEM career journey.

We’ve designed this programme to fuse careers education with the national science curriculum, including industry examples to increase student engagement and demonstrate the breadth of opportunity found in STEM, by highlighting the rewarding career journeys of STEM professionals like pharmacists, chemists, commercial managers, and researchers.

“To truly build on the UK’s position as a science superpower, we need to foster a passion for science within the next generation. Alongside this, we need to get young people excited about some of the incredible careers that a background in science can unlock.”

Susan RienowManaging Director and Country President, Pfizer UK

The programme is divided into four topics: ‘Separating Techniques’, ‘Acid and Bases’, ‘Clinical Trials’, and ‘Testing for Purity’ that cover key curriculum topics including infection and response, discovery and development of drugs, chemical analysis, and quantitative chemistry.  Working with science teachers through our education partner, the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), and with The Career & Enterprise Company to bring careers into the curriculum, we’ve developed these engaging science lessons with real-world examples, behind-the-scenes photos from inside the lab and quotes from real people working in STEM, infused with clinical expertise from the National Institute for Health & Care Research (NIHR). 

The Breakthrough Science lesson resources are accessible and free to download for all teachers and educational institutions across the United Kingdom for students aged 11 – 16.  

Testing out the lessons – Breakthrough Science Pilot 

In July 2023, we invited two classes of students from two schools within the AET network; Aylward Academy and Bexley Heath Academy to our Research and Development facility in Sandwich, Kent, to test out our Breakthrough Science Programme. One class delved into the complexities of clinical trials, with expert input from clinical researchers at the NIHR, the other donned lab-coats and explored separating techniques for salt solutions. The two science lessons were met with great enthusiasm from students and teachers alike. 

The two groups then came together to hear Pfizer and NIHR colleagues talk about their fascinating career journeys and answer the many questions students had. You can hear from some of them in our new Science Story video series.

76% of students* agreed or strongly agreed that “Making the lesson link in with real life made it easier to learn”
*of 98 students surveyed
(Pfizer. Data on file)

Download Breakthrough Science now!  

The free lesson resources can be downloaded on the Breakthrough Science School Programme page. You can download the whole set of lesson resources or just choose the topics you want to teach. Click the playlist on the page to watch the ten Science Story videos and bring STEM professionals into your classroom. 

The Breakthrough Science programme can be adapted, as required, to the educational needs of your class. This can be accomplished by grouping or breaking up sections of the lessons, or by linking the content to topics that have been covered or touched upon in your previous lessons. There’s also the opportunity to integrate the ready-made lessons into your existing lesson plans for the year.

PP-UNP-GBR-6966 / October 2023
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