The genesis of the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE) can be traced to the late 1960's, when some scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) got interested in the problem of improving the quality of science education in the country. These scientists, on a voluntary basis, undertook programmes in the schools of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation and in rural Madhya Pradesh. As the activities grew, a strong need was felt for institutional support, to systematically carry out field projects, do relevant basic research in science education, and to bring out good educational materials.

The HBCSE was founded in July 1974 as a constituent unit of TIFR, under grants-in-aid received from the Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust. For the first seven years, the HBCSE was supported by the Trust; later, the Department of Atomic Energy undertook to support it as part of TIFR. HBCSE is now a National Centre under the School of Natural Sciences of TIFR, devoted to research and development in science and mathematics education.

Nanachowk Municipal School where HBCSE was located before 1992

In October 1992, HBCSE moved from a temporary location in the Nana Chowk Municipal Secondary School, to its new campus located at Anushaktinagar. The campus has good basic facilities and administrative services. HBCSE staff reflects a wide spectrum of disciplines (physical, life and behavioral sciences).