Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

Activities for Lifestyle and Health

Here are activities to help with the teaching of this topic.

Lss 50 PixLSS: A case study of DCA
Students consider the drug DCA and the claim that it is a cheap and safe drug that kills most cancers. Using an article produced by Cancer Research UK, they consider how informative the article is and generate further questions that might enhance their understanding of DCA and its implications for the cancer drug industry.
Teacher notes and student sheets (761 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (105 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Preparing a scientific poster
Students create their own poster on the topic of cancer and risk factors. They will improve their ability to summarise information in a range of forms, and will think about how they can communicate scientific ideas using a poster as a cue.
Teacher notes and student sheets (0.9 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (172 KB)
Powerpoint presentation (539 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Evaluating scientific posters
Students work in pairs to assess their posters and discuss presenting it verbally. The students swap with another pair to carry out evaluation of the presentation. This is followed by a class discussion on the outcomes.
Teacher notes and student sheets (569 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (86 KB)

CHD risk game
This activity is a board game. It introduces the various factors that increase or decrease the risk of coronary heart disease.
Teacher notes and student sheets (435 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (162 KB)
Cards for board game (70 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Processing large data sets
A lot of research relies on collecting lots of data and then looking for trends in the data. In this activity students will have the chance to choose results within the large datasets to focus on, and find out if there are any links between the data.
Teacher notes and student sheets (741 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (72 KB)

Why treat people…?
This activity asks students to consider some of the wider social factors affecting health in the context of the WHO publication Closing the gap in a generation. They will be asked to rank factors and to justify their decision. This should provide a good opportunity for debate.
Teacher notes and student sheets (506 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (73 KB)
PowerPoint (2.4 MB)

Alcohol
This activity involves some quick multichoice questions on alcohol and then a data analysis question on relative and absolute risks.
Teacher notes and student sheets (183 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (52 KB)

Health Education – bicycle safety
The government regularly runs public health education campaigns. For example, ‘5-a-day’, ‘Know your units’, and ‘Go smokefree’. Not all are effective. In this activity, students look at research into the effectiveness of a ‘Bike Ed’ programme in Australia. They then discuss the outcomes of other campaigns.
Teacher notes and student sheets (301 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (58 KB)

Plastic bottles and cancer
This activity looks at two cancer scares relating to plastic bottles, one an ‘urban myth’ and one where the evidence is still disputed by scientists. Students have to consider conflicting evidence and explain their conclusions.
Teacher notes and student sheets (301 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (131 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Arranging a scientific report
In this activity, students identify the structure of scientific studies and compare these with a standard written scientific report (scientific studies are carried out routinely in the food industry and in materials testing).
Teacher notes and student sheets (743 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (99 KB)
Jumbled report (43 KB)
Tables and appendix for report (51 KB)

The Worried Well – health testing
Students are asked to consider the use of health testing kits and the significance of results. They discuss how false positives and negatives arise and the effects they may have.
Teacher notes and student sheets (504 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (74 KB)

Alcohol – whose responsibility?
This activity encourages students to decide on what measures they believe are appropriate for the regulation of alcohol consumption and to present these views as an argument. It uses ideas from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics report: Public health - ethical issues.
Teacher notes and student sheets (336 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (121 KB)

Health in the News
In this activity students will make use of a website which provides commentaries on health research as reported in the mainstream media. Students will be able to consider what type of research is reported, and how the stories are simplified for the media. This activity provides a good opportunity to look at an original research paper.
Teacher notes and student sheets (233 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (46 KB)
PowerPoint (13 KB)

Fruit and vegetables and cancer
This activity reviews the advantages and disadvantages of case control and cohort studies, in the context of research on the link between fruit and vegetable consumption and cancer risk. It includes data analysis on results from such research.
Teacher notes and student sheets (413 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (80 KB)

Genes or lifestyle? exam style question
This question looks at the evidence for genetic risk factors for a major cause of blindness, and then at the influence of two lifestyle factors and how these interact with the genetic risks. Finally students have to translate the information into a health education message.
Teacher notes and student sheets (266 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (66 KB)

Folic acid - Exam style question
This activity is about the important public health issue of reducing the incidence of neural tube defects, including spina bifida, by increasing folic acid in the diet prior to conception.
Teacher notes and student sheets (389 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (100 KB)