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This project supports introducing Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) as part of the wider science activities in schools. Our aim is to engage students and teachers in EBM  to develop critical thinking and build scientific understanding through experimentation and analysis alongside factual content.

We support 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 when 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 in Schools project is providing relevant resources to allow teachers to explicitly develop these skills in their pupils.

Info-graphic style image showing CEBM and Oxford Uni logos and the question 'Can drinking cola help students concentrate? An overview of a lesson aimed at Key stage 3 students' against a maroon banner.

Can drinking cola help students concentrate?

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 similarily
  • Fair comparisons with few people or outcome events can be misleading

Blueberries and the Media

Screenshot of Daily Mail news article showing text and a picture of a woman holding a bowl of blueberries© Corbis

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

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.

Blueberries & the Media Workshop – Presentation   Blueberries & the Media Workshop – Lesson Plan



This work is funded by the McCall MacBain Foundation
Lesson plans by Dr Sarah Pannell, biochemist and structural biologist teacher at Crompton House School Oldham
If you would like us to come and give a talk at your school or have any questions please email us at
Hard copies of Cola lesson overview are also available.