Evidence-Based Medicine for under 18s

EBM for Under 18’s is supporting teachers through the creation of resources that emphasise opportunities to teach critical thinking using health claims, opportunities that may be lost in the need to emphasise factual knowledge in such topics, especially where there is no direct link to classroom-based experiments.

At all levels, the idea of “working scientifically” is developed through age-relevant topics. The EBM for Under 18’s project is providing relevant resources to allow teachers to explicitly develop these skills in their pupils.

Resources / Lesson Plans

Cola Randomised Control Trial (RCT)
“For students and all brain workers -Take one glass Coca-Cola at night to keep the brain clear and active until eleven.”
What claim is being made? How could we test this? Is this the right type of study to answer the question?

Cola RCT Workshop – Presentation   Cola RCT Workshop – Lesson Plan   Cola RCT Workshop – Wordsearches  Overview of Lesson

This lesson highlights ideas associated with the following key concepts:

  • Anecdotes are unreliable evidence
  • Association is not the same as causation
  • Treatments should be compared fairly
  • Comparison groups should be similar
  • People should not know which treatment they get
  • Peoples’ outcomes should be assessed similarly
  • Fair comparisons with few people or outcome events can be misleading

Blueberries and the Media
“Blueberries and other foods rich in anti-oxidants could be used to increase brain power when taking exams”

Blueberries & the Media Workshop – Lesson Plan
Blueberries & the Media Workshop – Presentation
This lesson aims to introduce students to the idea that headlines can be misleading and that bias can influence the reporting (or even results) of research.  It is designed for students to discuss and then participate in a simple RCT to test a headline-grabbing claim and compare newspaper headlines to press releases about scientific research and identify differences between the two.



An over-enthusiastic science teacher
EBM for Under 18s

Talks available to download:

Ruth Davis, Dr Kamal Mahtani, Prof Carl Heneghan, Dr Liz Spencer and Dr Sarah Pannel, a biochemist and structural biologist teaching Science at Crompton House School in Oldham.  Sarah joined CEBM to develop and pilot EBM teaching material as a basis for implementation onto the national curriculum.

This work is funded by the McCall MacBain Foundation

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